Environment Foundation Invests in the Youth of the Roaring Fork Valley


Foundation also donates more than $64,000 to maintain trails, promote energy efficiency and ensure responsible oil and gas development.

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/expanding trail networks throughout the Roaring Fork Valley.

basalt longhorns logoA grant to Basalt Middle School (BMS) 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. Basalt Middle School Principal Jeremy Voss says, “The $10,000 grant from the employees of the Aspen Skiing Company and their community partners deepens our students understanding of regional ecosystems, energy development and the environmental impacts of their actions.”

“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,” says 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.”

14117608086_e5fa66da1d_oConservation Colorado’s Education Fund will use its grant to expand upon Colorado’s efforts to wean off fossil fuels by encouraging our elected officials to develop policies that value efficiency over extraction. Pete Maysmith, Conservation Colorado’s Executive Director 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 the fall of 2014. The foundation is funded by donations from Aspen Skiing Company employees and matched in whole or in part by the Aspen Community Foundation, the Aspen Skiing Company 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.

Fall 2014 funded projects represent a broad range of environmental issues facing the Roaring Fork Valley:

Organization Amount
Aspen Center for Environmental Studies: General Operating Support $7,500.00
Aspen TREE: Earth Keepers Day Camp $5,560.00
Aspen Valley Land Trust: Carbondale Crystal River Restoration Project $10,000.00
Basalt High School Flower Club: Don’t Be Trashy: Recycle $1,000.00
Basalt Middle School: Outdoor Education $10,000.00
Citizens for a Healthy Community: General Operating Support – Protect the North Fork Campaign $10,000.00
Colorado Mountain Club: Backcountry Snowsports Initiative Mapping and Travel Planning $5,550.00
Conservation Colorado Education Fund: Advancing Energy Efficiency in Colorado $10,000.00
Energetics Education: Solar Rollers Program $5,000.00
Lower Valley Trails Group (LoVa): General Operations Support $3,500.00
Rocky Mountain Institute: Create an educational package for the new RMI Innovation Center in Basalt describing design, process, and technology used to support utilization of similar practices $15,000.00
Waldorf School of the Roaring Fork: Gardening School Program and Curriculum $2,500.00
Western Colorado Congress: Environmental Justice Campaigns $10,000.00
TOTAL $95,610.00

Applications for spring 2015 funding are due Mar. 2, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. Those interested in receiving an application can email Matthew Hamilton at mhamilton@aspensnowmass.com.

The employee-funded, -founded and -directed Environment Foundation has awarded almost $2.6 million to 438 diverse local environmental projects since its inception in December 1997. Almost 1,800 employees per year contribute to the foundation directly from their paychecks. For additional information about the Environment Foundation visit theenvironmentfoundation.org

There are 4 openings on your Environment Foundation Board of Directors. Directors meet roughly four times a year for about three hours per meeting. The board has three primary roles: to fundraise, to determine worthy recipients of grant funds, and to serve as an ambassador of the foundation to your fellow employees and community. In addition, directors are expected to make up to two site visits to funded projects. All ASC employees who are Foundation donors are eligible to serve on the Environment Foundation board. We are especially interested in recruiting board members from the following divisions and departments:

  • Ski School: Aspen and Snowmass
  • Mountain Ops/Patrol: Highlands and Buttermilk
  • Human Resources
  • IT

The board selection process is quite competitive so be sure to tell us why you think you’re the best person for the job. Remember, if you are not selected in this round we keep applications on file and reconsider them when we have additional openings. For an application please go to: http://www.aspensnowmass.com/-/media/sustainability/EF_BoardApplication.doc or email mhamilton@aspensnowmass.com. Applications are due February 4th.

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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.