Nonprofits in Routt and Moffat get boost from Yampa Valley Community Foundation |

Nonprofits in Routt and Moffat get boost from Yampa Valley Community Foundation

Naturalist Kate Marcos talks about the basics of snowshoeing before leading Yampatika's free family snowshoe tour in 2010. Yampatika was awarded a $5,000 grant from the Yampa Valley Community Foundation for its educational programs.

The money will be used by one nonprofit to help increase public outreach, another group will use it to assist with branding and web development and another will use the funds from the Yampa Valley Community Foundation’s 2017 Community Grant Cycle to restore and keep the Yampa River healthy.

"It's not just the granting that has that direct impact," said Joe Haines, executive director of Yampatika, an environmental education nonprofit and a grant recipient. "It's the community support, it's the training, it's the collaboration, it's the facilitation. Without the community foundation, the Yampa Valley would be a lesser place for sure."

Yampatika was one of 55 of nonprofit organizations which received part of the $192,950 granted to nonprofits in Routt and Moffat counties in the 2017 Community Grant Cycle.

There were more then 62 applicants for the funds, which came from three local sources including $47,450, from a donor advised fund held at the Yampa Valley Community Foundation; $64,000, from the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. via the Passport Club program; and $81,500, from YVCF’s granting endowments.

"We are glad that we can support the local nonprofits and what they do for our community," said Mark Andersen, Executive Director of Yampa Valley Community Foundation. "We always wish we could do more and that is our goal, to raise more money to be able to meet those needs."

Yampatika staff recently learned the organization will receive $5,000 to help run its environment education programs, which serve elementary-aged students in school districts across Routt County. Yampatika programs are funded through a number of different sources, including the Steamboat Springs Education Fund Board and U.S. Forest Service. 

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"Getting support from the community foundation is an important piece of our ability to provide zero cost or low cost programs here in the Yampa Valley, " Haines said.

The 2017 Yampa Valley Community Foundation Grant Cycle was open June 1 through July 14. The annual grant cycle is an opportunity for the foundation to look at local nonprofits and what they are doing in the Yampa Valley.

Proposals are researched and analyzed by a grants committee composed of local community volunteers and a board of trustees. Grants are then awarded to organizations and programs that best demonstrate an impact on community needs.

Andersen said people interested in contributing can donate money annually or add to the endowment funds, which generate interest used for grants. The larger the endowment, the more money is available each year.

"The larger we can build our endowment, it's just securing to meet the needs of the future," Andersen said.

The following are groups getting funding from the Yampa Valley Community Foundation.

Friends of Wilderness received $3,000 to increase public outreach to better assist the U.S. Forest Service, which faces shrinking program budgets. The group will use the funds to provide hikers with maps of the wilderness area they are entering. The maps would include “leave no trace” information to educate visitors on how to take better care of the environment. 

Colorado Water Trust received $5,000 to help restore Yampa River flows in 2017 and to find a long-term, sustainable solution to keep the river healthy. Since 2012, Colorado Water Trust, with local partners, has restored 2.69 billion gallons of water to the Yampa through purchases of water from Stagecoach Reservoir. 

Yampa Valley Autism Program received $5,000 for their Social Cognition Therapy program. The Social Cognition Therapy and Social Thinking classroom curriculum directly improve the outcomes of the lives of our community's children and youths with autism spectrum disorders. 

The town of Oak Creek received $5,000 for its School Age Childcare program. This program is offers affordable licensed childcare in South Routt, and serves many low-income and at-risk youth. After school and summer programming includes hands-on, outdoor-oriented activities that promote year-round education. 

Steamboat Springs Arts Council received $5,000 to assist with branding and web development to help market the Colorado Creative District designation the city of Steamboat Springs recently was awarded. The Steamboat Springs Creative District is an economic development tool offering opportunities for local creatives to participate in education, advocacy and promotion of Steamboat Springs as a creative hub. 

Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp received $4,000 support for the rehabilitation of the Julie Harris Theatre. The theatre is the main rehearsal and performance space for summer programs that typically draw 120 students from across the country, with about 25 percent from Routt County. 

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.