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THE ENVIRONMENT FOUNDATION RELEASES $31,500 IN GRANTS TO SUPPORT ROARING FORK VALLEY YOUTH ENVIRONMENTAL AND ENERGY EDUCATION

ASPEN SNOWMASS, Colo.—Jan. 8, 2015—The Environment Foundation Board recently invested $31,500 in six organizations working to educate the next generation of public land stewards. An additional $64,000 in grants was released to seven organizations focused on energy efficiency, reducing the impacts of resource extraction on western Colorado and maintaining/expanding trail networks throughout the Roaring Fork Valley.

A grant to Basalt Middle School (BMS) will allow all students attending the school to participate in outdoor education programming regardless of their ability to pay, building cross-cultural relationships while also providing many young people the opportunity to learn beyond the classroom. Basalt Middle School Principal Jeremy Voss says, “The $10,000 grant from the employees of the Aspen Skiing Company and their community partners deepens our students understanding of regional ecosystems, energy development and the environmental impacts of their actions.”

“Increased access and higher quality experiences along the Crystal River throughout Carbondale enhances resident’s connection to one of the west’s last free-flowing rivers,” says Martha Cochran, Executive Director of the Aspen Valley Land Trust, another grant recipient. “Work to improve community connections to the watershed deepens our resolve to maintain this community asset while encouraging residents to recognize the value of this community resource.”

Conservation Colorado’s Education Fund will use its grant to expand upon Colorado’s efforts to wean off fossil fuels by encouraging our elected officials to develop policies that value efficiency over extraction. Pete Maysmith, Conservation Colorado’s Executive Director sees “a real opportunity to support continued growth of Colorado’s economy through efforts to reduce consumer’s energy expenditures freeing those dollars to be used in other ways.” 

In total, the Foundation donated more than $95,000 to 13 projects in the fall of 2014. The foundation is funded by donations from Aspen Skiing Company employees and matched in whole or in part by the Aspen Community Foundation, the Aspen Skiing Company Family Fund, Keurig Green Mountain and Swire Coca-Cola. Since its inception the foundation has supported 438 projects with more than $2.5 million in grants.            

Fall 2014 funded projects represent a broad range of environmental issues facing the Roaring Fork Valley:

 

Organization

Amount

Aspen Center for Environmental Studies: General Operating Support

$7,500.00

Aspen TREE: Earth Keepers Day Camp

$5,560.00

Aspen Valley Land Trust: Carbondale Crystal River Restoration Project

$10,000.00

Basalt High School Flower Club: Don’t Be Trashy: Recycle

$1,000.00

Basalt Middle School: Outdoor Education

$10,000.00

Citizens for a Healthy Community: General Operating Support – Protect the North Fork Campaign

$10,000.00

Colorado Mountain Club: Backcountry Snowsports Initiative Mapping and Travel Planning

$5,550.00

Conservation Colorado Education Fund: Advancing Energy Efficiency in Colorado

$10,000.00

Energetics Education: Solar Rollers Program

$5,000.00

Lower Valley Trails Group (LoVa): General Operations Support

$3,500.00

Rocky Mountain Institute: Create an educational package for the new RMI Innovation Center in Basalt describing design, process, and technology used to support utilization of similar practices

$15,000.00

Waldorf School of the Roaring Fork: Gardening School Program and Curriculum

$2,500.00

Western Colorado Congress: Environmental Justice Campaigns

$10,000.00

TOTAL

$95,610.00

                                                                                                                                         

Applications for spring 2015 funding are due Mar. 2, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. Those interested in receiving an application can email Matthew Hamilton at mhamilton@aspensnowmass.com.

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The employee-funded, -founded and -directed Environment Foundation has awarded almost $2.6 million to 438 diverse local environmental projects since its inception in December 1997. Almost 1,800 employees per year contribute to the foundation directly from their paychecks. For additional information about the Environment Foundation visit theenvironmentfoundation.org