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The Cairn Project

Outdoor Learning & Leadership for Girls+

In: Blogs >

For girls and young women, The Cairn Project expands outdoor access by supporting community-based wilderness and outdoor education groups around the country through a small grants program.

Outside is where community and leadership take root for girls+. At The Cairn Project, we know that connection to the outdoors fosters transformative growth and learning for girls+: seeding tenacity, strength, and the willingness to face the unexpected.

But for too many families, this opportunity for their girls remains out of reach. Our program supports widened access to nature-based learning around the US, funding scholarships and other nuts-and-bolts needs that increase accessibility for young women from ALL backgrounds.

We mobilize a broad community of support under the mandate of “More Girls Outside.” Our adventure-driven crowdfunding program supports small grants for outdoor opportunities for girls around the US.

We bring together a wide group of women+ who want to catalyze outdoor passion into a force for good, share learning and stories, and raise the profile of women and girls in outdoor adventure.


Director and Founder, Alison Wright grew up in a family that enjoyed the privilege of outdoor access – many memories were made in California’s iconic mountain and coastal landscapes. Alison has spent her career in the philanthropic sector, advancing initiatives for justice and empowerment internationally and closer to home. In addition to her leadership at The Cairn Project, she directs the Environmental Defenders Collaborative at Global Greengrants Fund, channeling support to frontline environmental activists around the world.

Alison is a board member of the AWE Summit Scholarship Foundation and Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide; she holds a BA from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a JD from Seattle University School of Law. Alison lives with her family in Sonoma County, California.


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