Seventeen Years and $2.5 Million to Protect the Local Environment

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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. 

 

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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.