Aspen skiing company gives hefty donations to protect the environment

Posted By: The Ski Channel on February 15, 2010 2:17 pm

                                         ROARING FORK VALLEY ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS RECEIVE $80,000

                                     Environment Foundation Now Accepting Grant Applications for its Spring Grant Cycle

Aspen/Snowmass, Colo., — The Environment Foundation donated $80,000 to 12 projects protecting the environmental quality of the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond this winter. The 15-member board of directors, made up of ASC employees, determines which qualified applicants receive a grant. Since its inception the foundation donated more than $1.4 million to 289 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.

The foundation is now accepting grant applications for projects that improve or protect the Roaring Fork Valley’s environment. The application deadline for the spring cycle is March 1, 2010 at 4:30 p.m.

The foundation supports projects that promote environmental education and research; seek to reduce the impacts of climate change; foster responsible stewardship of our natural resources; protect our mountain ecosystems; and preserve and create opportunities for outdoor recreation. The board suggests that grant requests not exceed $15,000, though the average grant is $8,000. Applicants can request an electronic grant application, eligibility guidelines or more information from Matthew Hamilton at Completed applications should be emailed to Matthew.

New this winter Green Mountain Coffee Roasters joins the Environment Foundation to protect and preserve the regional environment. For each of the next 3 years Green Mountain Coffee Roasters will match up to $25,000 annually in climate-related grants made by the Environment Foundation.

The foundation and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters provided combined grants of $26,000 this winter to three local organizations whose projects had a direct impact on carbon emissions. These organizations are Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Fat City Farmers, and the Third Street Center.

Funded projects represent a broad range of environmental issues facing the Roaring Fork Valley:

Thompson Divide Coalition is a unique partnership of ranchers and outdoor enthusiasts working to stop gas drilling activities in the Thompson Divide area outside Carbondale. The coalition will use a $10,000 grant for operational support.

Aspen Center for Environmental Studies received a $5,000 grant funding general operations of its Rock Bottom Ranch facility near Carbondale.

Third Street Center is a multi-tenant facility utilizing the former Crystal River Elementary site in Carbondale to house numerous nonprofit organizations in a high quality space with reduced cost leases.  The center will use an $8,000 grant to add solar hot water panels to the building which already includes a 50 kW solar electric system. 

Fat City Farmers is working with Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale to develop an organic garden project. A $7,300 grant allows the school to develop a 42 ft. diameter grow dome and 1.5 acres of organic farm fields on school grounds.

Solar Energy International is using a $5,000 grant to work with local school children to develop a portable energy and communication center for providing life saving medical care in third-world countries.

Colorado Conservation Voters Education Fund received a $15,000 grant to continue work to develop a grassroots network on the western slope to impact conservation policy, engage conservationists in local initiatives, and hold local elected officials accountable.

Aspen Camp of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is rehabilitating and expanding it trail network with a $2,000 grant.

Gregg Adams Photography offers nature photography classes to valley youth. A grant of $2,000 will allow youth who could not afford registration fees the opportunity to participate.

Colorado Environmental Coalition received $2,000 to enhance its legislative database tracking the voting trends of elected officials. 

Earthjustice and Western Resource Associates is using a $7,500 grant to ensure that the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission’s new oil and gas development rules are fully implemented, and to oppose efforts to repeal them. These rules provide important new protections for air, water, wildlife, and the public in the Roaring Fork Valley area and throughout Colorado. 

Anderson Ranch Arts Center will undertake a lighting retrofit in its studios and living quarters to reduce energy consumption with a $10,800 grant. 

Garfield County Open Space Working Group is using a $6,000 grant to support development of an open space program in Garfield County.

The employee-funded, -founded and -directed Environment Foundation has awarded more than $1.4 million to 289 diverse local environmental projects since its inception in December 1997. More than 1800 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.