2021 Paul Wiseman Conservation Education Grant Awards

Reconnecting people and place

Kitsap-based Keta Legacy Foundation, also known as Mountaineers Foundation, is pleased to announce the two winners of this year’s $15,000 Paul Wiseman grants awards: Rivershed Society of BC and Great Peninsula Conservancy.

The Foundation’s Paul Wiseman Conservation Education Grant program supports two projects each year. One grant award is for projects focused on environmental education and the other award for a restoration project. The Foundation received 10 project applications for its 2021 cycle.

Wiseman was a well-known mountaineer from Olympia who passed away in 2011 two days before his 99th birthday.

“One of the most important ways to ensure we can protect our air, land and water is by reconnecting people to the places we live and depend on,” said Renee Johnson, chair of the Foundation’s community grants committee. “The Paul Wiseman grant allows us to invest in projects that will have a lasting impact in the Salish Sea region. We are incredibly humbled at the opportunity to support these two organizations and all they’re doing to promote culturally-appropriate and inclusive approaches to conservation and education.” 

2021 Paul Wiseman Conservation Education Grant Program Awardees

Rivershed Society of BC

Foodlands Corridor Restoration Program

Rivershed’s mission is to connect, protect and restore the salmon and wildlife habitat within each of the Fraser River watershed’s 34 riversheds. The organization’s Foodlands Corridor Restoration Program is a partnership with local Indigenous communities and agricultural landholders to restore portions of the private land adjacent to the waterways along the staləw ̓/ Fraser River. The grant supports creation of a Foodlands Toolkit for organizations and stakeholders on how best to complete restoration work using a decolonized Theory of Change. It will provide community resources for conflict resolution, historical analysis of sites, and tools for approaching the land and people with honor and respect.

The program aims to create corridors of restored natural areas that reflect the diversity of values that the land represents, both from a western farming perspective and from a traditional hunting and gathering perspective.

— Justine Nelson, Executive Director, Rivershed Society of BC

This is the first known toolkit of its kind in the region to promote a health-centered restoration approach that takes into account food systems, Indigenous knowledge, and multiple landholders.

Great Peninsula Conservancy

Land Labs

GPC’s goal for the Land Labs program started earlier this year was simple: connect kids with the lands the GPC creates. Land Labs was created to provide outdoor experiences for students from historically marginalized communities or who may not have traditions of outdoor recreation. In 2021, the program was able to serve six classrooms of middle-school students from Catalyst Public Schools in Bremerton. The Foundation’s grant will allow GPC to expand the program to serve an entire grade level at Mountain View Middle School. GPC will focus on recruiting volunteer instructors who reflect the communities of students served.

Students who participate in Land Labs learn about the impacts of climate change and how to serve as a steward of local lands. The Land Labs are designed to meet Next Generation Science Standards. GPC surveyed participating students in 2021 and reported 82% of them said spending time outdoors made them more excited to learn.

GPC’s Executive Director, Nathan Daniel, has said: “This substantial grant from Keta Legacy Foundation will expand our Land Labs program, turning more of Great Peninsula Conservancy’s nature preserves into learning laboratories where local students connect with nature through hands-on community science. We are grateful for this support and look forward to collaborating with the Foundation to increase community engagement in land conservation right here in our community.”

Read more about the Foundation’s ongoing grant program, as well as projects we have funded in the past.