Skico foundation furthers environmental efforts |

Skico foundation furthers environmental efforts

Several area environmental organizations got a cash boost recently from the Aspen Skiing Co.’s Environment Foundation, an employee-funded effort that began in 1997.According to the Skico’s Matthew Hamilton, the Foundation’s board of directors recently awarded $74,500 to 11 groups and organizations that work on environmental issues. There was a total of $155,000 in requests.The foundation’s board of directors is made up of a dozen Skico employees. It was the 17th round of such grants by the foundation, according to the Skico. The foundation reportedly has distributed $812,138 since it was created.The organizations receiving grants this year were: The Ferdinand Hayden Chapter of Trout Unlimited, $2,500 for its annual Roaring Fork River cleanup to remove trash from the river’s banks from Aspen to Glenwood Springs. Wilderness Workshop, $8,000, for its Forest Watchdog program to track planning initiatives and proposed projects in the White River National Forest and surrounding Bureau of Land Management lands. The Colorado Mountain Club, $7,000, for its project to preserve unspoiled forests in the Roaring Fork Valley area by mobilizing communities in and around the White River National Forest to recommend protection for 640,000 roadless acres. Rock Bottom Ranch, $8,000, to help further its efforts toward fostering ecological literacy. The Rocky Mountain Climate Organization, $10,000, to create a Colorado Climate Agenda to reduce global-warming pollutants in the state. The Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, $10,000, for its trail restoration work on Pyramid Peak. Access Roaring Fork, $10,000, for its project to convert a school bus to one that operates using waste vegetable oil and educate middle school students throughout the valley about alternative energy sources. Colorado Big Country, $3,500, to support its noxious and invasive weed education efforts, primarily through enhanced distribution of its weed calendar. The Roaring Fork Conservancy, $7,500, to support increased adult-education programming for residents regarding water issues in the Roaring Fork watershed. The Rocky Mountain Institute, $3,000, to fund its Quest for Solutions lecture series on sustainability issues.The Carbondale Trails Committee, $5,000, to support development of a trail from Meadowood Avenue south to the new Thompson Creek Open Space in Pitkin County.More than 1,500 Skico employees contribute to the foundation through paycheck deductions every year. Those donations are matched by the Skico’s Family Fund and by the Aspen Valley Community Foundation, creating a fund that has doled out money to more than 175 recipients over the years.

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