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Aspen Employees Donate $83,000 to Protect the Environment

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ASPEN/SNOWMASS, CO – January 2009 –

The Environment Foundation donated $83,000 to 14 projects protecting the environmental quality of the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond as part of its fall grant cycle. Since its inception, the foundation donated almost $1.3 million to 260 projects. The foundation is funded by Aspen Skiing Company employee contributions with substantial support from the Aspen Community Foundation and the Aspen Skiing Company Family Fund.

This fall, the Foundation’s three largest grants will:

support CLEER, a regional nonprofit dedicated to reducing climate impacts;

fund installation of a water-source heat pump at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies – Hallam Lake

aid Colorado Mountain Club’s advocacy efforts to limit the impact of natural gas drilling near Carbondale.

In the seven months since the foundation last made grants Aspen Skiing Company employees donated $25,000. These contributions were matched by the Aspen Community Foundation and the Aspen Skiing Company Family Fund. The 14-member board of directors, made up of ASC employees, determined which qualified applicants received a grant. Funded projects represent a broad range of environmental issues facing the Roaring Fork Valley:

The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies provides environmental education programming for more than 86,000 Roaring Fork Valley residents and visitors annually. They received $15,000 to install a water-source heat pump at Hallam Lake and support general operations at Rock Bottom Ranch.

Western Resource Advocates received a $5,000 grant to monitor implementation of revised oil and gas drilling implementation rules.

Wilderness Workshop operates the Forest Watchdog Program analyzing proposed activities and policy directives for the White River National Forest to identify changes that impact the current environmental quality of these lands. They received a $5,000 grant to support this program.

Colorado Mountain Club will use a $9,000 grant to ensure appropriate balance between energy development and preserving the natural heritage of this region.

Carbondale Community School will be installing solar photovoltaic system to power its building and use monitoring technology to educate students on renewable energy. A $7,000 grant will support this project.

Clean Energy Economy for the Region (CLEER) received $15,000 to support general operations to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy, increase energy independence and reduce impacts of climate change.

Headwaters Economics works to improve community development and land management decisions in the West. They received a $5,000 grant to educate government officials, nonprofits and citizens on the use of severance taxes and impact fees on drilling activities to support community development.

La Energia, a project of Roaring Fork Leadership, received $2,000 to educate Spanish speaking homeowners and renters about the benefits of energy efficiency and provide tools needed to use energy more responsibly.

Roaring Fork Conservancy works to monitor and protect the waters of the Roaring Fork River Watershed. They will purchase electronic water testing equipment to allow for increased water quality monitoring with a $4,000 grant.

Split Estate is a documentary highlighting the health impacts of natural gas drilling. A $5,000 grant will aid in completing this film.

Tomorrow’s Voices received a $4,000 grant to fund its Call of the Wild outdoor education program.

The Town of Basalt will install a solar photovoltaic system atop its public works facility with a $4,000 grant.

Yampah Mountain High School will use a grant of $5,500 to build a greenhouse as part of an ongoing project called The Global Supermarket, an effort to educate students about agriculture and its environmental and health impacts.

The employee-funded, founded and directed Environment Foundation has awarded almost $1.3 million to 260 diverse local environmental projects since its inception in December 1997. More than 1,800 employees per year contribute to the foundation directly from their paychecks. Donations are matched by the Aspen Skiing Company Family Fund and the Aspen Community Foundation. For additional information about the Environment Foundation visit