FIND Outdoors celebrates 50 years as a local nonprofit on July 13

Press release from FIND Outdoors

FIND Outdoors, a local nonprofit that promotes recreation and education on our public lands, celebrates their official incorporation as a nonprofit on July 13th through giveaways, events, and surprises at all FIND-managed sites.

“To say that we’re proud and humbled to be able to give the gift of outdoor experiences to our communities is putting it mildly,” stated Natalie Britt, President and CEO of FIND Outdoors. “This is what we do, and what we’ve been doing for fifty years strong. We help make those connections between our visitors and our public lands.”

The story of FIND Outdoors, originally established as the Cradle of Forestry in America Interpretive Association (CFAIA) in 1972, dates back a few years earlier as Congress set aside 6,500 acres in the heart of Pisgah National Forest as the Cradle of Forestry and “Birthplace of Modern Forestry.” On July 13th, 1972, nonprofit status for CFAIA was finalized, and the organization was born. By the 1980s and ’90s, successful operations with the Cradle paved the way for further partnerships with the U.S. Forest Service through expansion of its mission to include campground and visitor center management, education, and an extensive retail section.

Over the course of the 50-year history, the organization has grown by leaps and bounds both in scope and mission, as its partners continue to realize the value in offering FIND Outdoors more management opportunities throughout the southeast and beyond. Today, FIND operates sites for the U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service in North Carolina, Kentucky, Georgia, and Indiana, and shows no signs of slowing down.

As 2020 rolled around, the Board of Directors and FIND team began the major undertaking of rebranding the entire organization in an effort to better reflect their rich history, while keeping a keen eye on future endeavors and partnerships. In addition to the rebrand and upcoming 50th anniversary, two major milestones were reflected over the past several years – FIND Outdoors was awarded the GuideStar “Gold Seal of Transparency” for nonprofit high standards, as well as proudly reinvesting 92% of our revenue back into the mission, educational programs, and managed sites that the nonprofit serves.

“This is a level of operation that nonprofits work very hard to achieve,” continues Britt on these accomplishments. “We have an amazing team in four states that operates at the highest level of nonprofit and organizational standards, and our success is attributed to that team.”

FIND has been celebrating the anniversary throughout the 2022 season at select FIND sites, and will continue to offer programs, events, and special surprises for everyone who visits their managed sites during the 2022 season and beyond, solidifying them as one of the premier nonprofits in the region, that all began on July 13th, 1972. Fifty years later, the organization is still growing and thriving in western North Carolina.

“This is an amazing time in the history of FIND Outdoors, and we’re so happy that our visitors can share it with us,” concluded Britt. “We look forward to seeing what the next fifty years brings!” For more information on FIND Outdoors, their nonprofit work, managed sites, and upcoming events, please visit and visit our Facebook and Instagram pages, or sign up for the newsletter to stay up-to-date.

About FIND Outdoors

FIND Outdoors, formerly the Cradle of Forestry in America Interpretive Association, is a 50-year old 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Pisgah Forest, NC. We serve over 900,000 visitors annually with a mission that promotes educational, recreational and interpretive opportunities about forest and water resources, natural history and the Cradle of Forestry in America. FIND Outdoors proudly manages campgrounds, visitor centers, sales outlets and educational facilities on five National Forests in North Carolina, Georgia, Indiana, and Kentucky, along with the Northwest Trading Post on the Blue Ridge Parkway. FIND accomplishes its mission by providing exceptional outdoor experiences through partnership opportunities for the health, safety and education of all visitors to local and regional public and private lands.

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