Aspen/Snowmass, Colo., — The Environment Foundation donated a significant $100,000 to a record 18 projects protecting the environmental quality of the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond this spring. The donation of $100,000 is the largest amount of money the foundation has granted within one cycle in the past ten years. This spring marks a record 18 grantees within one cycle in the 12-year history of the Environment Foundation.
Since its inception, the foundation has donated almost $1.4 million to 277 projects. The foundation is funded by Aspen Skiing Company employee contributions with substantial support from the Aspen Community Foundation and Aspen Skiing Company's Family Fund.
This spring, the foundation provided $10,000 to Carbondale Senior Housing Corporation to support installation of solar hot water and photovoltaic systems at Crystal Meadows Senior Housing. These systems will eliminate 43,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually, while also reducing the utility costs for fixed income residents.
In the four months since the foundation last made grants, Aspen Skiing Company employees donated $34,000. These contributions were matched by the Aspen Community Foundation and Aspen Skiing Company Family Fund. The 15-member board of directors, made up of ASC employees, determines which qualified applicants receive a grant. Funded projects represent a broad range of environmental issues facing the Roaring Fork Valley:
Carbondale Community Nonprofit Center will house over 20 nonprofit and community minded organizations in the old Carbondale Elementary School. An $8,000 grant supports installation of solar thermal panels offsetting natural gas consumption.
Aspen Center for Environmental Studies received a $6,000 grant funding school-based environmental education programming throughout the Roaring Fork Valley.
Aspen Public Radio will use a $5,000 grant to produce one environmental news story per week. These stories will educate the public about environmental initiatives undertaken in the Roaring Fork Valley as well as the environmental impacts of various industries on the Roaring Fork Valley and Western Slope.
Carbondale's Environmental Board is purchasing 40 plastic recycling bins to be used by down valley events throughout the summer. A $2,500 grant made this possible.
Carbondale Senior Housing Corporation is installing photovoltaic and solar thermal panels at Crystal Meadows Senior Housing with a $10,000 gift.
Colorado Conservation Voters Education Fund is using a $7,500 grant to engage Garfield County residents in non-partisan ways to impact conservation policy, engage conservationists in local initiatives, and hold local elected officials accountable.
Colorado Rocky Mountain School is expanding its organic garden with a $4,000 grant.
Habitat for Humanity operates the Re-Store near Cattle Creek, selling lightly used construction materials, appliances and furnishings donated as homes are renovated. A grant of $6,500 will support store operations.
Independence Pass Foundation is working to rehabilitate the Discovery Trail with a $2,500 grant.
Mount Sopris Nordic Council operates Spring Gulch Cross Country Center. With a $2,000 grant the Council is performing trail maintenance to improve the user experience.
Pitkin County Land Management's cost-share program received a $2,000 grant to aid private land owner efforts to eradicate noxious weeds from their property.
Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association is using a $7,000 grant to continue development of a trails master plan for the Roaring Fork Valley.
Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers undertakes 9+ trail projects annually throughout the valley working to enhance existing trail infrastructure or build new trail. A $9,500 grant supports this work.
Rocky Mountain Climate Organization developed a statewide climate action plan and received $5,000 to advocate on behalf of some components of the plan.
White River National Forest's Conundrum Hot Springs is an extremely popular backcountry hiking destination that is over run with summertime visitors, many of whom choose not to properly dispose of human waste. The forest service is using a $2,950 grant to purchase 2,000 waste bags to ease disposal issues and encourage guests to pack out their waste.
Western Colorado Congress is using a $5,000 grant to inform and organize a grassroots constituency to reduce the environmental impacts of energy development on the Western Slope.
Western Resource Advocates is working to encourage responsible development of energy resources throughout the west. The nonprofit's $10,000 grant supports continued efforts to stop development of coal-fired power plants.
Wilderness Workshop, Colorado Mountain Club and Colorado Environmental Coalition launched the Hidden Gems Wilderness campaign to secure wilderness designations for 400,000+ acres of wild lands. A $5,000 grant supports this effort.
The employee-funded, -founded and -directed Environment Foundation has awarded more than $1.4 million to 277 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.