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a group of people posing for a photoCommunity and inclusion is the foundation of Cali Collective. What started in 2015, as a way to encourage more female participation in kayaking, Cali Collective has grown into a successful and sustainable paddlesports school. We are excited to continue our core mission by working with underrepresented demographics to bring the gift of the outdoors to those who experience financial and geographic barriers to enjoying our natural resources.

We are excited to announce that with the help of the Great Falls Foundation, we are turning our Outreach Project into its own freestanding Non-Profit organization. This will allow us to apply for more funding to bring our programs to those who are most in need. The Outreach is slated to become a 501(c)(3) by early 2023. In the meantime, Great Falls Foundation can accept tax-deductible donations which will go directly to our Outreach Project.

Currently through this Project, we work with American Whitewater, Fresno Building Healthy Communities and other groups to bring at-risk youth out on the river to teach water safety, communication and leadership skills – all while having fun in the outdoors.

This October 2022, CWC Founder, Melissa DeMarie, is traveling to Bolivia to work with Haley Stuart and local advocacy organizations to help in the fight against the the Chepete-Bala mega dam proposal on the Beni River where more than 5,000 Indigenous people would be impacted by flooding from the construction of the two dams. The film, Still River, Silent Jungle, highlights this project in the upper Amazon Basin.

In 2023, we are assuming the ongoing kayak instruction for the Paddle Tribal Waters project in cooperation with Rios to Rivers. Indigenous youth in Northern California have recently completed an intensive whitewater kayak training to prepare to lead the first descent of the Klamath River following the much-anticipated removal of four dams and CWC is proud to carry on this training.

“Tribal people from the Klamath’s headwaters to the coast have fought so hard for dam removal because it is the single biggest action we can take to restore the river for our youth and the generations to come,” Yurok Tribe Chairman Joseph L. James said. “I can’t wait to see these kids paddle down the free-flowing river.”

Beginning in the spring of 2023, Cali Collective will also be working with Diversify Whitewater in Northern California to provide access to the less represented demographics in paddlesports through kayaking clinics and trips n the Trinity River. Diversify Whitewater is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works to promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in paddlesports by removing the barriers that may exist for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and allies in kayaking, canoeing, rafting, and stand-up paddleboarding.


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From working with indigenous communities at home in California and internationally to helping at-risk youth develop leadership and water safety skills to the CWC scholarship fund, our goal is provide accessibility to outdoor recreation and to encourage our next line of environmental stewards.

In 2023, we are excited to continue our work collaborating with organizations like American Whitewater, Paddle Tribal Waters, Fresno Building Healthy Communities, Rios to Rivers and Diversify Whitewater to create even more accessibility to the magic of being in nature and the healing power of water.

With operating costs, transportation and travel, food and accomodation, equipment and instruction, we are currently accepting donations to help support these programs. With your help, we can continue to expand our programming.

Option #1 — When you sign up for our clinics and trips, there is a dropdown during the registration process which asks, “Would you like to donate to our Outreach Project?” You have the option to donate between $10 and $100, which goes directly to the Outreach Project.

Option #2 — Great Falls Foundation is currently accepting tax deductible donations on behalf of the Cali Collective Outreach Project. The Great Falls Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to promoting an active and outdoor lifestyle by collaborating with land and water resource managers, producing adventure sporting events and competitions, and fostering the safe recreational use of our natural resources.

You can make your tax-deductible donation to our Outreach Project via GFF by check or PayPal:

Check: Great Falls Foundation, PO Box 59102, Potomac, MD 20859 -or- PayPal:

Please be sure to mark in the memo “Cali Collective Outreach Project” then take a screenshot of your Paypal or photo of your check and email it to [email protected], so we can add your donation to our records.

For your tax records, Great Falls Foundation IRS EIN: 81-0705156

If you would like more information on how we can bring our programs to your organization, please email us at [email protected].