Aspen Skiing Co.’s Environment Foundation donates $96,000 to local causes
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 and expanding trail networks throughout the Roaring Fork Valley.
A grant to Basalt Middle School 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.
“The $10,000 grant from the employees of the Aspen Skiing Co. and their community partners deepens our students’ understanding of regional ecosystems, energy development and the environmental impacts of their actions,” said Basalt Middle School Principal Jeremy Voss.
“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,” said 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,” she said.
Conservation Colorado’s Education Fund will use its grant to expand upon Colorado’s efforts to wean itself off fossil fuels by encouraging elected officials to develop policies that value efficiency over extraction. Pete Maysmith, Conservation Colorado’s executive director, said he 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 fall of 2014. The foundation is funded by donations from Aspen Skiing Co. employees and matched in whole or in part by the Aspen Community Foundation, the Aspen Skiing Co. 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.
Nearly three years after Aspen City Council cleared the founder of Jazz Aspen Snowmass to launch a jazz performance and education center downtown, Jim Horowitz said he expects the project will get rolling before the year is over.
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