During the spring 2016 funding cycle, the Environment Foundation Board was proud to fund projects as varied as theRoaring Fork Conservancy’s River Center,Conservation Colorado Education Fund and Western Resource Advocates, and theColorado Fourteeners Initiative. These were just three of many grants we distributed to worthy causes.In total the Environment Foundation released 15 grants totaling $104,390.

Here is a round-up of some of our funding highlights:

Roaring Fork Conservancy’s River Center

The Roaring Fork Conservancy’s River Center is much more than another new building in Basalt. Centrally located in downtown Basalt at the confluence of the Fryingpan and Roaring Fork rivers the center will provide school groups, our neighbors and visitors a place to learn about the importance of clean water to riparian habitats and our local economy. “The Environment Foundation’s grant of $20,000 when coupled with a $30,000 grant from Aspen Skiing Company clearly demonstrates the value our employees and our company places in healthy waterways for our tourism-based economy,” says Matthew Hamilton, Executive Director of The Environment Foundation.

Rick Lofaro, Executive Director of Roaring Fork Conservancy says, “Planting roots at Old Pond Park allows the Conservancy to promote its work in a public setting while providing a space to analyze river health and allow visitors to experience wetlands through an on-site living lab just outside of our doors. The River Center is not just a building; it is an innovative concept to demonstrate, experience and share the actions and interactions necessary to protect these exceptional rivers and our watershed.”

Roaring Fork River Center
Roaring Fork River Center

Conservation Colorado Education Fund & Western Resource Advocates

The Environment Foundation also donated$15,000 to the Conservation Colorado Education Fund and Western Resource Advocates to enhance Colorado’s position as an energy leader. “Our goal is maintain Colorado as a clean energy leader. We will work to shape policies that advance clean, affordable energy to prevent catastrophic climate change,” explained Jon Goldin-Dubois, Executive Director of Western Resource Advocates.

White River National Forest & Colorado Fourteeners Initiative

We also donated $10,000 to White River National Forest, which funds four wilderness ranger interns for the summer of 2016. Coupled with a $5,000 grant to Colorado Fourteeners Initiative these grants address the challenges of ever increasing foot traffic on our community’s iconic wilderness trails. Whether through trail restoration projects well above tree line or by educating tourists about the importance of “Leave No Trace” practices in the wilderness, the Forest Service Wilderness Interns and Colorado Fourteeners Initiative play an integral role in ensuring that public lands are protected and preserved for future generations.

Colorado 14ers Initiative Maroon Peak
Colorado 14ers Initiative Maroon Peak

Colorado 14ers Initiative Maroon Peak
Colorado 14ers Initiative Maroon Peak

The foundation is funded by donations from Aspen Skiing Company employees and matched in whole or in part by the Aspen Community Foundation and the Aspen Skiing Company Family Fund. Since its inception the foundation has supported 484 projects with more than $2.8 million in grants.

Spring 2016 funded projects represent a broad range of environmental issues facing the Roaring Fork Valley:

Spring 2016
Aspen Center for Environmental Studies: General Operating Support for Environmental Education Programming
$7,500.00
Buddy Program: LEAD Programs and Outdoor Leadership
$5,000.00
Citizens for a Healthy Community and Western Environmental Law Center:
North Fork Valley Oil & Gas Defense Campaign
$5,000.00
Colorado Fourteeners Initiative: Elk Mountains Fourteeners Trail Maintenance, Restoration
and Data Collection Project
$4,987.00
Colorado Outward Bound School: Harnessing Potential through the Marble Basecamp
$3,404.00
Conservation Colorado Education Fund and Western Resource Advocates:
Tackling Climate Change in Colorado
$15,000.00
EcoFlight: Overflights for Prescribed Burn to promote Forest Health in the Roaring Fork Valley
$4,500.00
Fat City Farmers: Agricultural Education and Implementation
$5,000.00
Red Rock Pictures: 2016 US PBS re-broadcast of the documentary film Split Estate
$2,500.00
Roaring Fork Conservancy: River Center
$20,000.00
Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers: Trail and Restoration Projects
$5,000.00
Rocky Mountain Youth Corps: Engage two crews of nine youth ages 10-15 from the Roaring Fork Valley
in experiential learning through our curriculum that focuses on environmental education
$6,000.00
WE-cycle Station Sponsorship
$2,500.00
White River National Forest: The Wilderness Ranger Internship Program
$10,000.00
Wilderness Workshop: Oil & Gas Defense Program
$10,000.00
Total$104,391.00



Applications for the fall 2016 grant cycle are due October 28, 2016. Those interested in receiving an application can email:

Matthew Hamilton
mhamilton@aspensnowmass.com.