American Rivers Awards $100,000 In Grants To Connect Communities To Hometown Rivers

February 10, 2016

Fay Augustyn 616-990-0049 or Sinjin Eberle 720-373-0864

(Denver, CO) – Rivers and communities across the Intermountain West will benefit from a series of grants announced today by American Rivers, a national non-profit river conservation organization. The Connecting Communities to Rivers grant program is providing a total of $100,000 to seven projects that improve family-friendly recreational opportunities and protect rivers and surrounding open space. The funding for this program is generously supported by the LOR Foundation.

“American Rivers is proud to support the work of communities across the Intermountain West to connect with their rivers and protect clean water and healthy streams, which are essential to the region’s economic prosperity and quality of life,” said Fay Augustyn, American Rivers’ Intermountain West Blue Trails Manager. “We congratulate the grant recipients for their innovative ideas and enthusiastic efforts for their towns, and we hope these projects inspire other communities to pursue similar projects across the country.”

“Dedicated to community-driven conservation, the LOR Foundation is excited to partner with American Rivers through their Connecting Communities to Rivers program,” said April Norton, Program Officer for the LOR Foundation. “Healthy rivers and improved outdoor opportunities are vital connections for communities across the Intermountain West—the place we are so fortunate to call home.”

The 2016 Grant Recipients include:

  • The Happy Trails Program in Ketchum, Idaho will enhance public access to the Big Wood River through the improvement of trails and riverside habitat, as well as increased signage and the creation of river access maps.
  • Snake River Waterkeeper’s 2016 Swim Guide uses data sampled on the Snake River in Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington to maintain an app that provides the public with free, up-to-date, reliable, independent information about which sites are safe for swimming.
  • In the Teton Creek Community Corridor, Friends of the Teton is working in partnership with other community organizations to enhance conservation, recreation, and community connection along Teton Creek in Driggs, Idaho.
  • Along the Gunnison River, River Restoration Adventures for Tomorrow will increase local engagement and stewardship for the protection of the Gunnison River Watershed in Colorado through experiential learning adventures and river conservation work.
  • Rivers & Birds, a New Mexico-based nonprofit organization, will present its award-winning nine-day Watershed Learning Project to teach local watershed conservation with a multicultural focus to Taos fifth grade students through adventurous, hands-on investigations along local rivers, including the Rio Grande.
  • Blackfoot Community-Based Drought Resilience, Blackfoot Challenge will unite anglers, irrigators, and communities in a collaborative effort to promote sustainable recreation, support agricultural stewardship, and benefit in-stream flows for native fish along the Blackfoot River in northwestern Montana.
  • On the Upper Colorado River in central Colorado, the Eagle Valley Land Trust is working in partnership with public agencies, like Eagle County Open Space and Colorado Parks and Wildlife, to enhance conservation, promote livability and support family‐friendly recreational opportunities in the area.

The Connecting Communities to Rivers Grant Program received more than 50 applications from across the Intermountain West. Applicants included local communities and municipalities, watershed groups, outfitters and schools.