DURHAM, N.C. – Former Duke and current NFL tight end Cooper Helfet has turned his love of the outdoors into a non-profit foundation, The Nature Project. His group received attention last week for a highly successful four-day, three-night adventure held at IslandWood on Bainbridge Island.
Helfet is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of The Nature Project, which is focused on providing under-served youth with opportunities to experience nature. The foundation has gathered like-minded athletes, environmentalists and philanthropists to create a fund that facilitates these experiences for youths across the county.
Earlier this spring, the Nature Project partnered with IslandWood to expand the program. IslandWood is another non-profit and a leader in environmental education. The goal of IslandWood is to provide exceptional learning experiences and to inspire lifelong environmental and community stewardship.
During last week’s trip to IslandWood, youth got to interact with Helfet and former Seattle Seahawk teammates of his, Jermaine Kearse, DeShawn Shead and Sidney Rice.
While with the Blue Devils, Helfet earned All-ACC honorable mention accolades as a senior in 2011 and was a two-time member of the Academic All-ACC Team and ACC Academic Honor Roll. A current member of the Oakland Raiders, Helfet was a member of the Seahawks from 2011-15 and won Super Bowl XLVIII as well as two NFC championships (2013-14).