Yampatika will use a $5,000 grant from the Ski Corp. Environmental Fund to help build a hands-on nature exhibit featuring a 150-gallon freshwater aquarium and a replica bear hibernation den that youngsters can crawl inside.
Yampatika's award was the largest of six grants totaling $14,330 that the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. warded this week through its new fund maintained by the Yampa Valley Community Foundation. A significant portion of the funds was generated from the sale of individual chairs from the old Burgess Creek Chairlift. It was dismantled this summer to make way for a new chairlift. The chairs sold in 24 hours at a minimum of $100, Ski Corp environmental and guest service director Lyn Halliday said.
The grant awards were awarded by an advisory committee of year-round resort employees. Other organizations receiving grants included Steamboat Springs Rotary Club, Yampa Valley Recycles, Yampa River Botanic Park, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps/Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp, and Rocky Mountain Youth Corps/The Nature Conservancy.
Yampatika is a nonprofit organization devoted to increasing peoples' understanding of natural and cultural resources, Assistant Director Mike Schranz said. In the process, it hopes to foster a "sense of place" through education, communication, participation and by example.
Yampatika shares space at the headquarters of the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest and the Colorado Division of Wildlife on U.S. Highway 40 on the city's southern edge.
The nature display will be built in the lobby of the building, Schranz said. The grant from Ski Corp. will go toward the $65,000 budget for the project.
The goal is to create displays that live up to the quality of a natural history museum.
Ski Corp. Environmental Fund applications are accepted year-round and reviewed periodically as the committee deems necessary. The tentative deadline for the 2005 granting cycle is June 24. Applications may be picked up at the resort switchboard, fourth floor of the Gondola Building, or the Yampa Valley Community Foundation office.