From its start 50 years ago, our Community Grants Program has been rooted in conservation. But there is more to preserving and protecting the environment than simply purchasing and managing a property. Protecting our ecosystems isn’t possible without strong defenders of strong environmental laws and policies. Our 2016 grant to Earthwise Law Center at Lewis & Clark School to fund law clerks and other students that work pro bono on environmental issues is one way we’ve used our program to support the next generation of environmental champions. We are proud of our support for Earthwise through grants like this.
It is incredibly rewarding to look back on a community grant and see how our initial investment is still paying dividends. In 2015 the Mt. Adams Institute applied for a grant for their summer ecology programs for middle and high school students. This program would combine STEM curriculum combined with global issues to educate students. The program served students in both Oregon and Washington. A quick look at the Mt. Adams Institute website reveals they are still offering summer camps with a STEM curriculum component. Our grant of five years ago is still sending ripples into the community and connecting young people to healthy ecosystems. We’re delighted at the excellent work done by Mt. Adams Institute!
Preserve. Inspire. Educate. Those are the three concepts that capture the mission and vision of the Foundation. We love the way they are interwoven and reinforce one another. When we preserve a piece of property in its natural state, that property is there to inspire and educate future generations.
One organization that does tremendous work to protect beautiful spaces that inspire a love of the outdoors is the Nature Conservancy. The Foundation has supported the Nature Conservancy’s land acquisition effort numerous times through our Community Grants Program. One example is their 320-acre Black River Preserve south of Tumwater in Littlerock, which we helped fund. This remarkable preserve is home to several species of salmon and fish and a remarkable array of riparian wildlife from mink and beaver to great blue heron. If you want to see the preserve up close, you’ll have to grab your kayak or canoe! You can read about one such acquisition here. By awarding grants to Nature Conservancy’s land acquisition projects, we are making sure people have healthy ecosystems to connect with.
In 2009, Mountaineers Foundation awarded a grant to the Burke Museum for a public exhibition of the 2010 International Conservation Photography Awards. The competition was initiated in 1997 by noted conservationist and photographer, Art Wolfe.
The opening of this event was a huge success! Lines to get in and view the photos stretched out the door.
Glorious photos of conservation are a wonderful way to connect those who don’t have easy access to the beauty of nature.
We are proud to be a longtime supporter of the Burke Museum and their unique programs that connect others to the natural world.
It’s fun to look back on grants we awarded decades ago and see the ripples from that small start. A 1981 Mountaineers Foundation awarded a grant to the Nature Conservancy for the Skagit River Eagle Project. This project worked to preserve the Skagit River Bald Eagle Natural Area. It’s a project that has borne tremendous fruit since that grant was awarded. The natural area was preserved and in 2002 the Skagit Valley Bald Eagle Interpretive Center was built. Today the Skagit River is arguably the most popular place to view bald eagles in Washington and visitors can participate in winter nature hikes to learn how the health of the area’s ecosystem supports healthy salmon which in turn sustains the bald eagles. And Keta Legacy Foundation is proud to have played our small role in this project which has helped protect a local natural treasure and is connecting people with a now-vibrant ecosystem.