Whether you consider yourself an overlander, off-roader, camper or nature lover, there’s one thing each one of us can agree on: the love for our natural lands. The unfortunate fact is that the more people who venture out into nature, the less pristine it gets. That’s why it’s on each and every one of us to try to keep the areas we visit as untouched as we can.

Advocacy organizations such as Overland Expo Foundation (OXF) and its programs are important to us, as they actively put conservancy into action. We got a chance to converse with Alison DeLapp, Executive Director of OXF, to find out what the organization is all about, the programs it runs, and how we can all get involved to further its goals.

OVR: Tell us about Overland Expo Foundation, what its goals are, and how is the organization accomplishing them?

AD: OXF’s mission is to give back to the overland community. Through our grant programs, we help fund stellar organizations and individuals who help protect the majesty of our public lands and advance the community. We advocate getting involved with stewardship, either with the projects we support or with the organizations directly. We believe in education and knowing how to overland responsibly. And we are a group of enthusiasts passionate about the freedom of overland travel and want to keep it accessible for generations to come.

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OVR: What programs does OXF run and how can people get involved?

AD: With our Overland Expo Foundation Grant, individuals and organizations can apply for funding for upcoming charitable projects that support our mission: protecting access to or improving public lands, providing education that fosters preparedness and a more conscientious community, and promoting responsible exploration of our world.

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We also give other grants, such as the Change Your World Grant, for individuals traveling the world and giving back as they go; and our Leave the Trail Better Mini-Grant, for groups to start a community-based trail clean-up or restoration in their area. (Go to overlandexpofoundation.org/applications/ to find out more.) 

OVR: How did you get into overlanding? We hear that you have a cool personal overland vehicle.

AD: I got into overlanding in 2009 when I realized I could combine my passions, motorcycling and camping. That passion has taken me as far north as Alaska and as far south as Argentina. My overland vehicle is a Triumph Tiger 800xc, set up for on-road and off-road excursions.

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OVR: What are some of your favorite areas to travel to, explore, and camp at?

AD: I love traveling the Southwest and searching for land art, Alaska for the solitude it offers, and South America for the culture and challenges.

OVR: How did you get involved with OXF?

AD: I have worked for Overland Expo since 2012, and in 2021 I was presented the opportunity to run the Overland Expo Foundation. With the Foundation only a year old at that point, I was excited to create the structure and establish the programs we have today. The Foundation continues to evolve and grow, and I’m thrilled for what we have planned for this year!

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Overland Expo Foundation’s programs and grants allow organizations as well as individuals keep the trails open to all of us. There are various grants and even scholarships available; we hope you consider applying and allow OXF to help turn your passion into protection.

To stay informed on OXF’s work, be sure to visit overlandexpofoundation.org and follow OXF on the following social media platforms: Instagram @overlandexpofoundation / Facebook @OverlandExpoFoundation.