Aspen Skiing Co. employee foundation awards $116,000 in ‘green’ grants |

Aspen Skiing Co. employee foundation awards $116,000 in ‘green’ grants

Staff report

The Aspen Skiing Co. Employee Environment Foundation dished out $116,000 in grants to environmental causes such as promoting energy efficiency, protecting rivers and streams and advocating for responsible oil and gas development.

In addition to those donations, the foundation also awarded a three-year grant to the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies for $15,000 per year and a three-year grant to Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers for $5,000 per year. The foundation’s board of directors — comprised of Skico employees — felt both organizations provide an invaluable service to the valley and deserve continued support, the foundation said in a statement. Following are the grants:

Aspen Center for Environmental Studies will receive $7,500 for each of the annual grant cycles through the end of 2017. The funds will go to general operating support for environmental education.

The Buddy Program received $5,000 for its LEAD programs and outdoor leadership.

Citizens for Healthy Communities received $10,000 for the North Fork Valley Oil and Gas Legal Defense Fund.

Clear Energy Economy for the Region received $12,000 to create enduring regional and state funding for community energy efficiency and climate-protection programs.

Colorado Fourteeners Initiative received $5,609 for trail maintenance, restoration and data collection in the big peaks of the Elk Mountain Range.

Colorado Outward Bound School received $9,765 to empower teachers to reach the summit.

Conservation Colorado Education Fund received $10,000 to advocate for increasing the Colorado Renewable Energy Standard.

EcoFlight received $3,000 to conduct flights to help gauge forest health in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Fat City Farmers received $6,400 to support its summer garden manager at Roaring Fork High School and other programs to help students learn about the arts of indoor gardening, greenhouse design, manufacturing, construction and teamwork.

Mount Sopris Nordic Council received $4,235 for summer maintenance on the Spring Gulch Winter Trail System.

Protect Our Winters received $15,000 for an athlete-led campaign designed to leverage the influence of pro athletes to create awareness and inspire others to take meaningful action on climate issues.

Red Rock Pictures received $5,000 to support the rebroadcast of the film “Split Estate” on PBS.

The Roaring Fork Conservancy received $6,589 to improve its water-quality-monitoring program through the purchase of new pH monitors.

Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers received $5,000 per year through 2017 for trails and restoration projects.

Thompson Divide Coalition received $12,000 for its ongoing community-based effort to prevent oil and gas drilling in Thompson Divide.

Wilderness Workshop received $12,000 to support oil and gas defense programs.

Applications for the fall 2015 grant cycle are due Oct. 30.

The foundation has awarded $2.6 million in grants since it was created in December 1997. It is supported by nearly 1,800 employees of Skico who make voluntary contributions.