If you’re going to walk the walk, sometimes you have to talk the talk. Or in this case, if you’re going to climb those off-the-beaten-path roads, you have to be willing to support the great outdoors. And Ford is certainly committed to that through a new endowment named after the its trailblazing off-road icon – the Bronco.
Ford today announced creation of the Bronco Wild Fund, which will support the responsible enjoyment and preservation of the great American outdoors. Just yesterday, I reported on how well the Bronco Sport did in the desert race Rebelle Rally. My colleague Marc Stern did an excellent piece on how the Bronco Brand one-of-a-kind four-door Bronco OG Concept to encourage drivers to get off the grid and get in the great outdoors.
Now, a special endowment will be funded by a portion of the proceeds from Bronco two-door, four-door and Bronco Sport SUV sales, as well as Ford licensed merchandise. The fund’s goal is to raise up to $5 million annually and today pledged to plant 1 million new trees by the end of 2021.
“The Bronco Wild Fund will help Bronco owners and off-road enthusiasts connect with the outdoors on a deeper, more personal level – ultimately enabling them to become responsible stewards of our nation’s treasures,” said Mark Grueber, Bronco brand marketing manager.
Ford has done an excellent job of establishing Bronco not just another nameplate, but as a brand; a brand that represents freedom and the outdoorsy lifestyle. So it only makes sense for the Bronco brand to lend its name to this endowment and work toward bettering trail management, reforestation and support of the National Forest Foundation.
Bronco Wild Fund initially will support the National Forest Foundation, the exclusive nonprofit working to support America’s 193 million acres of national forests, and Outward Bound USA, a leading educational nonprofit teaching teamwork and character development through challenging outdoor experiences.
Bronco Wild Fund
Bronco Wild Fund will work through a series of strategic alliances with nonprofits selected for their preservation efforts of America’s outdoors and their encouragement of responsible stewardship through improved access and education.
The first two nonprofits to reach those objectives are the National Forest Foundation, which will receive support to help with its reforestation of America’s national forests, and Outward Bound USA, which will receive funds to provide access for young people to learn and grow through outdoor experiences in some of our country’s great wilderness spaces.
Future preservation initiatives will include financial support for reforestation and trail maintenance programs, forest health, fire mitigation and restoration work. The fund will provide additional support through equipment donations to various forestry agencies across the U.S., while outdoor access programs will focus on education and scholarships, outdoor learning and environmental stewardship.
To learn more about the Bronco Wild Fund, go to www.broncowildfund.com.
National Forest Foundation
The National Forest Foundation, created by Congress in 1992, is the only nonprofit solely dedicated to protecting and promoting America’s 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands. A primary effort of the organization has been ongoing reforestation for post-forest fire restoration and reforestation in other areas of natural disturbance. The foundation launched the 50 Million for Our Forests campaign to raise funds by 2023 to plant 50 million trees across the National Forest System. Along with helping the foundation reach its goal faster by planting 1 million trees, Bronco Wild Fund will contribute to ongoing reforestation efforts.
Bronco enthusiasts can participate in forest stewardship efforts directly through programs to help plant a tree for every $1 donated. Ford dealers can support the foundation through volunteer and engagement efforts organized by Bronco Wild Fund. Additional sustainability programs will be announced later this month.
“We are proud and excited to receive this incredible support through the Bronco Wild Fund for our 50 Million for Our Forests campaign,” said Mary Mitsos, president and CEO, National Forest Foundation. “Their backing will help restore forests damaged by severe wildfires and help protect our nation’s water supply, air quality and sequestering carbon. Through this alliance, we’ll also help people reconnect with the wild in a responsible manner to encourage stewardship of our public lands and help protect America’s national forest resources.”
Outward Bound USA
Offering programs to access some of our country’s great wilderness, Outward Bound USA is a world-recognized nonprofit on a mission to change lives through challenge and discovery. Founded in 1941, the organization pioneered outdoor adventure learning around the world and now operates in more than 30 countries.
In the United States, Outward Bound delivers expeditionary learning programs in and out of the classroom that build character, leadership that results in effective teamwork and a respect for the environment. Bronco Wild Fund will donate $50,000 to Outward Bound USA in 2020 to create unique Bronco-inspired backcountry expeditions to provide access to outdoor learning experiences that teach responsible enjoyment and care for the environment and public lands. The fund has allocated $250,000 for Outward Bound USA scholarships for 2021.
“We are thrilled to work with Ford to create special opportunities for young people to learn and grow through outdoor adventures that they will carry with them for a lifetime,” said Josh Brankman, executive director, Outward Bound USA.
Outdoor enthusiasts can engage with Outward Bound USA and regional Outward Bound Schools to promote nature-based learning and community service through future programming.
Iconic Bronco brand returns
Since 1965, Bronco has always stood for off-road innovation. The original Bronco SUV helped change the off-road space with its agility and sports-oriented off-road 4x4 capability, and enabled Ford to be the first American manufacturer to reference “sports-utility vehicles,” or SUV.
Bronco is the new outdoor lifestyle brand from Ford with an all-4x4 family of vehicles including Bronco two-door, first-ever Bronco four-door and smaller Bronco Sport models – all engineered with Built Wild Extreme Durability Testing, Capability and Innovative Design principles, according to Ford.
Additionally, the brand will include unique Bronco Off-Roadeo driving schools across four U.S. locations, plus an independent Bronco Nation online adventure community that elevates the Bronco lifestyle and enables both owners and fans to be part of a passionate, knowledgeable adventure-driven community.
Reservations for the 2021 Ford Bronco are still being taken, and in fact, the pricing matrix and reservation date has twice been pushed back, and now is expected around the end of January, 2021. The Bronco is expected to be delivered as early as late spring and deliveries will continue throughout all of 2021. Estimates of more than 100,000 pre-orders have been reported with some rumors going even higher.
The excitement is there, the anticipation is palpable and now Ford continues to distract us and tease us with news like this, regarding the Bronco Wild Fund. Let’s get our Broncos and put the Fun in Fund already.
Jimmy Dinsmore has been an automotive journalist for more than a decade and been a writer since the high school. His Driver’s Side column features new car reviews and runs in several newspapers throughout the country. He is also co-author of the book “Mustang by Design” and “Ford Trucks: A Unique Look at the Technical History of America’s Most Popular Truck”. Also, Jimmy works in the social media marketing world for a Canadian automotive training aid manufacturing company. Follow Jimmy on Facebook, Twitter, at his special Ford F-150 coverage on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can read the most of Jimmy's stories by searching Torque News Ford for daily Ford vehicle report.