Author Archives: Matthew Hamilton

About Matthew Hamilton

Matthew Hamilton is Aspen Skiing Company’s (ASC) Sustainability Director. He is also the Executive Director of the Environment Foundation, which has donated more than $2 million over the past 15 years. Matthew oversees ASC's community philanthropy, and runs ASC's day-to-day environmental programs, including the monthly Greenletter, and GREENTRACK, ASC's ISO 14001 certified environmental management system. Matthew is also consultant with Aspen Sustainability Associates, and has lectured nationally and internationally on ASC's work. He currently serves as President of the Roaring Fork School District Board of Education, and on the boards of the Carbondale Tourism Council, Colorado Youth Corps Association and Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado. Previously, Matthew was a Research Officer at The Piton Foundation, working with low income neighborhoods on issues of education reform, affordable housing and economic development. Prior to that, he worked for Share Our Strength, a national anti-hunger anti-poverty group; the Independent Sector, a national association of nonprofits and foundations, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (on a project called Enterprise for the Environment), for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, and for Middlebury College. Matthew has a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Studies and Political Science from Middlebury College and a Masters in Public Policy from Georgetown University where he focused on nonprofit management. During his free time he can be found on his bike spending time enjoying many of the local trails and back roads. He lives in Carbondale, Colorado with his wife Jen, and their children Boden and Beck.

Maroon Bells, Aspen, CO

Over 17 years the Environment Foundation has donated nearly $2.5 million to protect our mountain ecosystems (bye zebra mussels), promote responsible natural resource extraction (see ya methane), support youth environmental education and encourage responsible outdoor recreation (without any moose altercations).

  • In spring 2010 the Environment Foundation made a grant to the Ruedi Water and Power Authority to inspect boats for Zebra and Quagga Mussels before these pesky mollusks could wreak havoc on Ruedi Reservoir and the hydro power plant there.
  • In fall 2013 Conservation Colorado and Western Resource Advocates received $50,000 to educate the public about the benefits of proposed rules to reduce methane leakage during natural gas extraction.
  • On multiple occasions the Foundation has supported the US Forest Service Wilderness Intern program to ensure forest guests don’t abuse the forests and vistas we all treasure, while keeping you out of harm’s way when a moose decides to call Crater Lake home.

How does this affect you?ASC_EnviroFound_logo_HIRES

Apply for a Grant
If you are a nonprofit organization, private entity, government agency, or an individual with a project that protects or preserves our mountain ecosystem, raises awareness around regional environmental issues, promotes stewardship of our natural resources, or supports environmental education for our youth, remember the date November 1st.  That first Saturday of November is the fall deadline for submitting your grant proposal for funding from the Environment Foundation. For more information on guidelines check out our ‘How to Apply’ page.

Aspen Skiing Company Employees
Two dollars is all it takes per paycheck to become an Environment Foundation member and the new owner of EF SWAG. That $2 is matched in whole or in part by the Aspen Community Foundation, the Aspen Skiing Company Family Fund, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, and Swire Coca-Cola. None of these funds are used on overhead. Existing members, please consider increasingEF_Hat your donation. It’s your donations that allow the foundation to significantly impact the local environment, and you’ll get some SWAG too.  Join/increase your donation when you pick up your 14/15 season pass or by filling out this form and sending it to payroll at Highlands. When you donate you join close to half of your co-workers supporting the Environment Foundation.

Guests
If you’re just visiting but this sounds like a pretty good foundation to support, you’re welcome to add on a $1 or $2 contribution when you purchase your lift ticket/season pass. By virtue of staying at The Limelight Hotel or The Little Nell you are donating to the Foundation. Depending on the property $1 or $2 per night is added to your bill to support the Foundation (unless you request otherwise).

Support the Foundation from Afar
Not an employee and not able visiting the Roaring Fork valley this winter? Shop on Amazon and support the Environment Foundation through Amazon Smile. Log in at https://smile.amazon.com/ , select Aspen Skiing Company Environment Foundation as your charity and 0.5% of every eligible purchase will be donated on your behalf.

 

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LogoThe second annual Aspen TNT (Town -N- Trail) 10K Race is scheduled for Saturday, October 4, 2014.  The race showcases a unique route on a variety of trails, bike paths and sidewalks around the town of Aspen, Colorado and benefits the National Multiple Sclerosis Society – Colorado-Wyoming Chapter.  The TNT race will begin and end in Koch Park followed by a post-race party at the Limelight Hotel – not to be missed!  There will be live music, food & drinks, giveaways, and CASH prizes for the top male & female runners, and best costume!  For more information or to register to run or to volunteer see our website at www.aspentnt.com.

MS is chronic disease of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves – it is the leading cause of disability in young women and the second leading cause of disability in young men.  The National MS Society is an organization that wants to do something about MS NOW, and is dedicated to achieving a world free of MS.  100% of net proceeds from the race will be donated to the Colorado-Wyoming Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

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On July 29th, 2014 Aspen Skiing Company (ASC) testified in support of EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Between the 29th and August 1st hundreds of Americans, including Protect Our Winter’s Riders Alliance member Eric Larsen, will tell EPA why the Clean Power Plan is critical to their futures, livelihoods and lifestyles. Read our testimony, then join thousands of others and submit your commentsContinue reading

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The Environment Foundation released four grants totaling $55,000 to Wilderness Workshop, Thompson Divide Coalition, Western Environmental Law Center and High Country News. These grants represent a continued commitment of the foundation to support responsible oil/gas development. Wilderness Workshop will Continue reading

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If you live in the Roaring Fork Valley I am sure you’ve heard of the Thompson Divide.  This 220,000 acre region is the center of a pitched battle where natural gas leaseholders face off against a broad based coalition of hunters, anglers, bikers, hikers, backcountry skiers, ranchers and many other Roaring Fork Valley residents, no matter their political stripes. Continue reading

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Aspen Skiing Company’s Environment Foundation was established in 1997 to protect the local Roaring Fork Valley environment. The foundation is directed by a 15-member board of directors comprised of Aspen Skiing Company (ASC) employees. Close to 50% of ASC’s employees make donations through paycheck deductions which are matched in part by the Aspen Community Foundation, ASC Family Fund, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and Coca-Cola.

Twice yearly the foundation releases approximately $100,000 in grants that support efforts to reduce the impacts of climate change, protect western lands from natural gas extraction impacts, provide local youth environmental education programming, and maintain local waterways. Other projects that impact the local environment are also supported. Grant deadlines are 3/1 and 11/1 annually and decisions are made in late-April and late-December.

Earlier this month we welcomed three new board members, Alex Kendrick (Buttermilk Ski School), Steve Hill (Snowmass Mall Alpine Shop at Four Mountain Sports), and Jess Jacobi (Marketing). We also said goodbye to three employees whose terms of service were complete – Matt Jones (Finance), Carmen Barber (Four Mountain Sports) and Stephen Luck (Snowmass Lift Maintenance). Thanks for your service over the past four years.

The Environment Foundation is much more than a grant maker.  Its primary purpose is not necessarily giving away money, but rather the process by which our board learns about and considers which projects to fund. It’s in those conversations that ASC hopes its employees learn about environmental issues facing our valley and beyond.  We hope they carry their knowledge and passion beyond their service to the foundation through volunteer and philanthropy efforts in our local community.

Because of its belief in the power of  this approach to philanthropy ASC encourages guests to donate to the Environment Foundation when staying at our hotels (The Little Nell and Limelight Hotel) and when purchasing season passes or lift tickets.  During their stays or purchase guests are asked to donate $1 to $2 to the foundation to protect the valley that is the centerpiece of their time here.

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Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers mobilizes over 1,000 volunteers annually to maintain local trails with support from the Environment Foundation.