Skico, employees grant $50,000 to Basalt river center | AspenTimes.com

Skico, employees grant $50,000 to Basalt river center

The Environment Foundation gave a total of 15 grants for $104,390. Other recipients were:

* $15,000 to Conservation Colorado Education Fund and Western Slope Advocates to enhance Colorado’s position as an alternative energy leader.

* $10,000 to White River National Forest funds four wilderness ranger interns for the summer of 2016.

* $7,500 to Aspen Center for Environmental Studies: General Operating Support for Environmental Education Programming.

* $5,000 to the Buddy Program: LEAD Programs and Outdoor Leadership.

* $5,000 to Citizens for a Healthy Community and Western Environmental Law Center: North Fork Valley Oil & Gas Defense Campaign.

* $4,987 to Colorado Fourteeners Initiative: Elk Mountains Fourteeners Trail Maintenance, Restoration and Data Collection Project.

* $3,404 to Colorado Outward Bound School: Harnessing Potential through the Marble Basecamp.

* $15,000 to Conservation Colorado Education Fund and Western Resource Advocates: Tackling Climate Change in Colorado.

* $3,000 to EcoFlight: Overflights for Prescribed Burn to promote Forest Health in the Roaring Fork Valley.

* $4,500 to Fat City Farmers: Agricultural Education and Implementation.

* $2,500 Red Rock Pictures: 2016 US PBS re-broadcast of the documentary film Split Estate.

* $5,000 to Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers: Trail and Restoration Projects.

* $6,000 to 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.

* $2,500 to WE-cycle Station Sponsorship.

* $10,000 to Wilderness Workshop: Oil & Gas Defense Program.

Aspen Skiing Co. and its employees’ environment foundation awarded Basalt-based Roaring Fork Conservancy $50,000 in grants to jumpstart the stalled plan to build a river center near downtown.

The Aspen Skiing Co. announced Wednesday it gave a $30,000 grant while the Environment Foundation presented $20,000.

The conservancy started raising funds for the river center prior to the recession but found it tough to secure all the necessary funding. It scaled back its plan last year from 8,400 to 4,500 square feet. The center will include an exhibition hall, education center and offices.

The facility is planned between Rocky Mountain Institute’s Innovation Center to the east and Old Pond Park to the west. It is near the banks of the Roaring Fork River.

The river center will provide school groups, local residents and visitors with an amazing place to learn about riparian habitats. The conservancy focuses on water quality and quantity issues in the Roaring Fork watershed. Jim Light and Jim Chaffin created the nonprofit organization, in conjunction with town of Basalt officials, when the Roaring Fork Club was approved.

Matthew Hamilton, executive director of the Environment Foundation said in a statement that the funding “clearly demonstrates the value our employees and our company places in healthy waterways for our tourism-based economy.”

Roaring Fork Conservancy Executive Director Rick Lofaro said in the statement, “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.”

Lofaro couldn’t be reached for comment on how the grants affect construction plans for the river center.

The town of Basalt tried to jumpstart the project in July by buying the property back from the conservancy and agreeing to a long-term, low-cost lease.

The Environment Foundation gave a total of 15 grants for $104,390. Other recipients were:

* $15,000 to Conservation Colorado Education Fund and Western Slope Advocates to enhance Colorado’s position as an alternative energy leader.

* $10,000 to White River National Forest funds four wilderness ranger interns for the summer of 2016.

* $7,500 to Aspen Center for Environmental Studies: General Operating Support for Environmental Education Programming.

* $5,000 to the Buddy Program: LEAD Programs and Outdoor Leadership.

* $5,000 to Citizens for a Healthy Community and Western Environmental Law Center: North Fork Valley Oil & Gas Defense Campaign.

* $4,987 to Colorado Fourteeners Initiative: Elk Mountains Fourteeners Trail Maintenance, Restoration and Data Collection Project.

* $3,404 to Colorado Outward Bound School: Harnessing Potential through the Marble Basecamp.

* $15,000 to Conservation Colorado Education Fund and Western Resource Advocates: Tackling Climate Change in Colorado.

* $3,000 to EcoFlight: Overflights for Prescribed Burn to promote Forest Health in the Roaring Fork Valley.

* $4,500 to Fat City Farmers: Agricultural Education and Implementation.

* $2,500 Red Rock Pictures: 2016 US PBS re-broadcast of the documentary film Split Estate.

* $5,000 to Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers: Trail and Restoration Projects.

* $6,000 to 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.

* $2,500 to WE-cycle Station Sponsorship.

* $10,000 to Wilderness Workshop: Oil & Gas Defense Program.


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