Nature Fund gets $200K | SierraSun.com

Nature Fund gets $200K

Sierra Countis
Sierra Sun
Court Leve/Sierra SunA hiker and her best friend use the elevated walkway near Martis Creek in the Martis Valley on Monday.
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The Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation’s Nature Fund received a $200,000 donation to go toward funding grants for local environmental nonprofit organizations.

East West Partners, creator of Tahoe Mountain Resorts, donated the funds to give back to the community, said company officials.

The Nature Fund was founded in 2003 by the community foundation to aid in the conservation of wildlife, lands, and waters of the Truckee, North Tahoe, and Donner Summit regions. Phebe Bell, foundation program officer, said “our goal is to shepherd the resources” to local nonprofits.

“We chose the Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation because it provides grants directly to area nonprofit organizations,” David Tirman, East West Partners project manager and fund steward, said in a release.

Bell said that “as far as developers go, they (East West Partners) have done a good job” in working within the local community.

So far, the fund has acquired $1.2 million in its goal to raise $2 million to provide grants for yearly projects. This most recent donation from the developer will be added to the pot.

The Nature Fund got a boost to launch the program two years ago from foundation board member Dr. Fred Ilfeld and his wife, Barbara, who donated $500,000 to match a challenge grant. East West Partners also contributed $500,000.

In 2005 the Nature Fund awarded the Truckee River Watershed Council a $12,000 grant to support a three-part project in the Martis Wildlife Area that helped create a boardwalk over part of a trail that crossed wetlands.

Bell said the $200,000 donation will be used in the fall grant cycle this year. Non-profit organizations need to contact the Nature Fund and apply in order to receive the grant money. Bell said each year the amount of money to be allotted will increase, estimating about $60,000 to be used in this cycle. She said that it’s important to have local funds to support local non-profits.

“This is an example of the community trying to make Tahoe Truckee the best it can be,” Bell said.