Environment Foundation awards $129K to valley groups

By Aspen Skiing Company
September 14, 2012
The Environment Foundation donated more than $129,000 to 18 projects protecting the environmental quality of the Roaring Fork Valley during its last grant cycle.

The foundation is now accepting grant applications for the fall 2012 grant cycle. Applications are due October 15, 2012, at 4:30 p.m. Those interested in applying should request an electronic grant application, eligibility guidelines or more information from Matthew Hamilton at mhamilton@aspensnowmass.com.

Since its inception the foundation donated almost $2 million to 375 projects. The foundation is funded by Aspen Skiing Company employee contributions with substantial support from the Aspen Community Foundation, Aspen Skiing Company’s Family Fund, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Aspen Skiing Company’s official coffee), and Swire Coca-Cola.

In the last grant cycle the foundation donated over $40,000 to encourage responsible oil shale and natural gas development in Colorado, defend a key draft management plan, protect communities by establishing ample setback distances, and preserve local government authority to regulate extraction within their jurisdictions.

The foundation’s board also made a three-year commitment of $15,000 annually to the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) in support of their exemplary work educating younger generations on the importance of environmental responsibility. Chris Lane, ACES Executive Director, said, “Environmental education is our mission. Teaching children where food comes from and how nature works is our bread and butter. This work shapes the world’s future leaders. We greatly appreciate the Environment Foundation’s long-term support.”

The 15-member board of directors, made up of Aspen Skiing Company employees, determines which qualified applicants receive a grant. Recently funded projects represent a broad range of environmental issues facing the Roaring Fork Valley:

Aspen Center for Environmental Studies: Environmental Education School Program Support - $7,500

Basalt Elementary School: Operating Support for Basalt Edible Garden- $4,000

Blue Lake Preschool: Energy Efficiency Improvements - Loan Offered

Citizens for a Healthy Community: General Operating Support - $10,000

Colorado Environment Coalition: Reducing Local Community Impacts from Oil and Gas Drilling - $10,000

Colorado Fourteeners Initiative: Capitol Peak Trail Maintenance and Data Collection Project - $4,000

Colorado Mountain Club: Four Pass Loop Trail Work - $5,000

Colorado Watershed Assembly: River Watch in the Roaring Fork Valley - $5,000

High Country News: Reporting on Energy Development in Western Colorado - $10,000

Mid-Valley Community Garden Collective: Establish a community garden on the open space at Basalt High School recently acquired by Pitkin County and the Town of Basalt - $2,000

Mount Sopris Nordic Council: 2012 Spring Gulch Trail System Enhancement - Trail Improvements on Little Dipper, Ginny Lane, Lower Holdens, Big Dipper and Rabbit Run - $3,700

Protect Our Winters: 2012 POW Winter Revenue and Jobs Report - $11,000

Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers: 2012 Trail Projects at No Name Trail (Glenwood Springs), Arbaney-Kittle Trail (mid-valley), and Anderson Lake Trail Restoration (way east of Aspen near Ruby Lake) - $6,000

Trust for Public Land: Gauging Community Support for Open Lands Conservation in Garfield County - $10,000

Western Energy Project: Defend the recently released draft management plan for oil shale and tar sands development in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah - $10,000

Western Resource Advocates: Preventing Oil Shale Development in Northwestern Colorado - $10,000

White River National Forest: Summer Wilderness Trail Crew - $10,000

Wilderness Workshop: Oil & Gas Defense - $11,000

Total = $129,200

The employee-funded, -founded and -directed Environment Foundation has awarded almost $2 million to 375 diverse local environmental projects since its inception in December 1997. More than 1,800 employees per year contribute to the foundation directly from their paychecks. Donations are matched by the Aspen Skiing Company Family Fund and the Aspen Community Foundation. For additional information about the Environment Foundation visit theenvironmentfoundation.org.

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