Media Contact: Donna Stumpf

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March 4, 2024

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

Acting Cabinet Secretary Mark Roper

Director Karina Armijo

New Mexico Outdoor Recreation Division Awards $873,872 in Outdoor Marketing Grants

Division’s inaugural grant will assist 41 organizations market equitable events and programs

SANTA FE, N.M. – The Outdoor Recreation Division (ORD) of the New Mexico Economic Development Department (EDD) has awarded 41 recipients the first-ever Outdoor Marketing Grant (OMG) to support recreation initiatives and expand the reach of live events in 17 counties.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham created the Outdoor Recreation Division in 2019 and identified outdoor recreation as a key target sector to diversify the economy. ORD has since invested over $18 million to fund outdoor access through the Outdoor Recreation Trails+, Outdoor Equity Fund, and Outdoor Marketing Grant programs.

“This innovative grant program represents a new collaboration between the Outdoor Recreation Division and the Department of Tourism to support programs and amplify events,” EDD Acting Cabinet Secretary Mark Roper said. “Of the 41 grantees, 26 are in rural communities where building the outdoor economy is vital to creating jobs and diversifying the economy.”

OMG applicants were encouraged to request funds to increase their outdoor marketing initiatives or apply for event sponsorships. Grant dollars will make it possible for awardees to extensively expand the reach of their marketing efforts through new and amplified channels. ORD is honored to partner with the awardees as their work aligns with the division’s mission of increasing equitable access to the outdoors for all New Mexicans, ensuring healthy outcomes, environmental stewardship, and economic prosperity.

The one-time funding source for the program was part of the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s implementation of the American Rescue Plan Act in partnership with the New Mexico Tourism Department.

“ORD is proud to support diverse outdoor recreation events through the OMG program. The much-needed funding will lead to individuals strengthening their connections to the outdoors and families continuing to build traditions of being outside together,” ORD Director Karina Armijo said. “From single-to multi-day events and long-lasting marketing tools, such as printed guides and informative websites, all funded efforts lead to healthy outcomes that fuel our outdoor recreation economy.”

The 41 grantees will receive $873,872, while their organizations will bring in an additional $1,181,080 in matching funds. Over 63% of OMG recipients are based in rural areas in 17 counties throughout the state. Grant awards ranged from $10,000 to $30,000. Funds will support 10 events and 31 comprehensive marketing efforts for New Mexico nonprofits, counties, and municipalities. 

“Grant County’s marketing effort will focus on encouraging residents and attracting tourists to enjoy the Gila National Forest.Given the Gila’s 3.3+ million acres, the marketing campaign is aimed at expanding promotions of outdoor recreational opportunities in the region,” Grant County Manager Charlene Webb said.“With more than 40 campgrounds and 1,927 miles of trails and roads throughout the forest, there are countless opportunities to enjoy the beautiful year-round mild seasons of the great southwest; therefore, this marketing campaign is called ‘Escape to the Gila.’”

Events supported include Tour of the Gila, a five-day world-class road race, hosted by the Gila Community and Tourism Development. The event has grown to iconic status within the sport by offering an American stage race with qualities similar to European races. Locals and travelers interact with the sport's top names, while participants develop a deep connection to the Silver City area due to their experience on two wheels. Families, friends, and teammates also make the trip to Silver City to support the racers during the remote stages, adding to the economic impact of Tour of the Gila.

Also awarded, Trout Unlimited’s grant funds focus on targeting new and diverse audiences across the state that are under-represented in the fly-fishing sport, such as women, youth, Hispanic, and Indigenous communities. Their free family-friendly events seek to increase awareness and build a more equitable recreation community around fly fishing. 

Other events receiving OMG support include Carrie Tingley Hospital Foundation’s Day of the Tread, Continental Divide Trail (CDT) Coalition’s CDT Trail Days/Gila Earth Day celebrations, Glorieta Camps with Zia Rides’ GloriDays Mountain Bike Festival, Grants Mainstreet Project’s Continental Divide Trail Days, Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area’s Los Luceros Balloon Invitational, Presbyterian Ear Institute’s Run to Break the Silence, Santa Fe Century Committee’s weekend gravel and road biking events, and the Village of Taos Ski Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Up & Over Trail Run Weekend.

Grant-funded marketing efforts are equally diverse and include plans to create print and digital advertisements, radio and television ads, redesigned websites with captivating images, trail maps and online guides, videos, and interpretive signage, all with an underlying focus on championing the transformative power of nature on health, tourism, and economic development by encouraging and promoting outdoor experiences that are open to all.


Since notification, awardees have expressed their appreciation for the grant funding that will elevate participation levels in their events and increase awareness and access to outdoor recreation opportunities in their communities. 

"Through the New Mexico Outdoor Recreation Division funding, the Cloudcroft Chamber of Commerce will spread the word, far and wide, about the various outdoor activities and planned outdoor events that Cloudcroft and the Sacramento Mountains offered throughout the year,” Cloudcroft Chamber of Commerce member Lauren Groesbeck said. “In 2023, Cloudcroft was proclaimed the Christmas Capital of New Mexico. Whether it is our Christmas in July Jamboree or our Enchanted Holiday Walk, Cloudcroft’s abundant evergreen forest makes it feel magical year round. Any reason, any season — it’s cool to be in Cloudcroft!"

“Carrie Tingley Hospital Foundation is thrilled to partner with the Outdoor Recreation Division on the inaugural grant,” Day of the Tread Board member Joanie Griffin said. “With the power of the state, we are convinced that The Day of the Tread will become a major regional cycling event.”

"Trout Unlimited (TU) will be able to make our community fishing events bigger and better than ever this year, thanks to the Outdoor Recreation Division's support,” Trout Unlimited Upper Rio Grande Engagement Manager Claire Catlett said. “TU and our partners are excited to offer New Mexican families everything from free fishing days in the Pecos and Gila forests, fishing tournaments like the Taos Fish-A-Thon, beginner fly-fishing clinics, and even native trout stocking on the Rio Grande.”

"With support from the Outdoor Marketing Grant, recipients should be able to leverage additional funding, which would boost awareness and stewardship of the great outdoors," ORD Director Armijo said.  

The grant applications were reviewed and scored by an 11-member panel that included: ORD Director Karina Armijo, Designer Trisha Fong, Graphic Designer and Photographer Nate Francis, Gizmo Productions Kevyn Gilbert, Freelance Photographer and Videographer Evan Green, ORD Deputy Director AJ Jones, Eleven : Eleven Creative Beth Kelly, NM Tourism Department Marketing Director Erin Ladd, EDD Public Relations Coordinator Lauren Longworth, ORD Marketing & Business Outreach Coordinator Donna M. Stumpf, and NM Tourism Department Graphic Designer Bryce Turner. 

2024 Outdoor Marketing Grant Awardees:

  • Bernalillo County ($10,000, Bernalillo County)
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters Mountain Region ($29,768, McKinley County)
  • Carrie Tingley Hospital Foundation, Day of the Tread ($30,000, Bernalillo County)
  • Carrizozo Works Inc. ($13,880, Lincoln County)
  • Center for Health Innovation-Public Health Institute ($15,000, Grant County)
  • City of Clovis, NM ($14,800, Curry County)
  • City of Gallup ($12,500, McKinley County)
  • Cloudcroft Chamber of Commerce ($17,000, Otero County)
  • Continental Divide Trail Coalition ($20,000, Grant County)
  • Cottonwood Gulch Expeditions ($25,000, Bernalillo County)
  • Curry County ($15,000, Curry County)
  • Families & Youth, Inc. ($20,963, Dona Ana County)
  • Gila Chapter Back Country Horsemen of New Mexico ($30,000, Grant County)
  • Gila Community and Tourism Development - Tour of the Gila ($30,000, Grant County)
  • Global Opportunities Unlimited ($19,920, Bernalillo County)
  • Glorieta Camps with Zia Rides ($20,000, Santa Fe County)
  • Grant County ($30,000, Grant County)
  • Grants MainStreet Project, Inc. ($20,000, Cibola County)
  • Hero's Path Palliative Care ($22,000, Bernalillo County)
  • Katharsis Media INC ($29,824, Bernalillo County)
  • Keshet Dance & Center for the Arts ($27,160, Bernalillo County)
  • Little Las Vegas, NM Marketing Group ($13,375, San Miguel County)
  • Mountain Kids! ($15,000, Santa Fe County)
  • National Ghost Ranch Foundation, Inc. ($25,000, Bernalillo County)
  • New Mexico Wilderness Alliance ($15,000, Bernalillo County)
  • Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area ($23,000, Rio Arriba County)
  • Presbyterian Ear Institute ($22,800, Bernalillo County)
  • Public Lands Interpretive Association ($24,490, San Miguel County)
  • Rocky Mountain Youth Corps ($30,000, Taos County)
  • San Juan County ($30,000 San Juan County)
  • Sandoval County ($13,400, Sandoval County)
  • Santa Fe Century Committee ($30,000, Santa Fe County)
  • Santa Fe Conservation Trust ($15,000, Santa Fe County)
  • The Semilla Project ($30,000, Luna County)
  • Ski New Mexico, Inc ($15,000, Taos County)
  • Town of Red River ($30,000, Taos County)
  • Town of Silver City ($15,000, Grant County)
  • Trout Unlimited ($29,992, Taos County)
  • Village of Logan, NM ($15,000, Quay County)
  • Village of Los Lunas Open Space ($14,000, Valencia County)
  • Village of Taos Ski Valley Chamber of Commerce ($15,000, Taos County)


Day of the Tread Bike Race. Photos courtesy of Carrie Tingley Hospital

Women's Fishing and Indigenous Youth Fishing Events. Photo courtesy of Trout Unlimited.

The mission of the Outdoor Recreation Division, a division of the New Mexico Economic Development Department, is to increase equitable access to the outdoors for all New Mexicans, ensuring healthy outcomes, environmental stewardship, and economic prosperity.

New Mexico Economic Development Department
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