Yampa Valley Community Foundation grants $190K to local groups | SteamboatToday.com

Yampa Valley Community Foundation grants $190K to local groups

Teresa Ristow

— The Yampa Valley Community Foundation has announced the recipients of grants to 51 organizations totaling $190,757 for its 2015 grant cycle, the highest amount ever given by the organization.

This year the group implemented two new strategies to improve utilization of the funds — requiring consecutive three-year recipients to sit out for one year, and limiting grant requests to $5,000, unless a group can demonstrate far-reaching Yampa Valley impacts.

Six groups were awarded grants in excess of $5,000, including BookTrails, which received $12,500 to put towards the creation of new overnight, residential camps at Fetcher Ranch.

"This grant is going to jumpstart our renovation project out at our learning site on Fetcher Ranch. It will pay for the construction of some walled platform tents for students to stay in and also things like outdoor classrooms and a fire ring," said Emily Krall, founder and director of BookTrails.

Created in 2012, BookTrails promotes literacy in youth by combining reading with outdoor activities, including through the popular Reading on Ranches day camps.

Krall said popularity of the day camps has grown every summer, with 210 students participating this year.

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"It was our most popular camp yet, so we're trying to meet increased demand," Krall said.

While daytime camps are geared towards elementary and preschool students, Krall said the residential camp would target middle school students.

"We're so appreciative to the community foundation for supporting the project, and we're grateful to be one of the higher grant recipients this year," Krall said.

Another top recipient was the Routt County Humane Society, which received $14,700 to remodel its kitchen and exam room.

The Humane Society was considered a worthy donor in part because of its recent takeover of the city's animal shelter, according to Susan Peterson, community impact manager for the community foundation.

Peterson said the Humane Society also received $5,000 earlier this year from the annual YVCF's Impact100 giving project.

"The Humane Society was on people's radar this year," she said.

Other large grants this year included $12,000 to the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, $10,000 to LiftUp of Routt County and $6,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Colorado.

The Yampa Valley Community Foundation manages the YVCF Community Grant Fund and multiple other charitable funds and endowments that it administers through its annual grant cycle, including the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. Employee Environmental, Recreational and Charitable Funds, the Gloria Gossard Memorial Endowment, Arthur Anderson Memorial Endowment and donor-advised funds.

This year about 38 percent of funds were given for health and human services initiatives, followed by 23 percent to support education, 16 percent for recreation, 15 percent for arts and culture and 8 percent for environmental causes.

More information about YVCF can be found at yvcf.org.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow