Ski Corp. hands out grants |

Ski Corp. hands out grants

Area nonprofits receive money for environmental work

The Yampa River Botanic Gardens draws many who come to photograph the area as well as walk the paths taking them from one spectacular area to the next.
Tyler Arroyo

— Beth Faris bought a couple of recycling bins each time she made a trip from South Routt to the Wal-Mart in Steamboat Springs.

As the sponsor of Soroco High School’s Green Team, Faris took responsibility for buying the recycling containers and paying for the gas she used while picking up recyclable materials from South Routt School District buildings in Oak Creek and Yampa.

Several years ago, the high school Green Team started receiving grant money, and it has transformed the program.

This year, the high school Green Team, an independent-study class for high school students, received $500 through the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. Employee Environmental Fund.

The money was a small portion of the $55,028 Ski Corp. awarded to county nonprofit organizations during its 2006 granting cycle.

“It is wonderful, because we have no budget,” Faris said. “We are really excited. Over the years, we’ve gotten some neat things going.”

The $500 will be used to purchase containers with the recycling logo on them, as well as a cart to haul them from South Routt Elementary School. Also, the high school Green Team hopes to spend more time educating elementary students about how to recycle and why the district is recycling.

“We are trying to get the elementary more involved,” Faris said.

Nonprofit organizations involved in projects, programs or facilities that benefit the environment throughout the Yampa Valley were eligible to apply for the Ski Corp. grants.

A seven-member committee made up of year-round resort employees reviewed the applications. This year, the committee nearly doubled the money awarded from 2005. In addition, Ski Corp. employees have the option of deducting a set amount each week from their paychecks to contribute to the fund. This past year, employees contributed more than $1,600 to help area nonprofit groups.

“The company has developed a strong position over the past four decades to protect the environment and provide responsible stewardship of the public and private lands on which the resort operation resides,” said Lyn Halliday, environmental affairs director for Ski Corp.

Twelve organizations received grants of varying amounts for varying reasons, but all involved the environment.

“Steamboat truly has become one of the premier leaders in the industry for implementing environmental initiatives,” Ski Corp. President Chris Diamond said.

The Ski Corp. Employee Environmental Fund applications are accepted in the spring of each year. The deadline for the 2007 granting cycle is May 30. Applications can be picked up at the Yampa Valley Community Foundation office or by calling Halliday at 871-5454.

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