Conservation, Outdoor Recreation, and Environment

Over the past 25 years, our Community Foundation supported outdoor-focused non-profits primarily through donor advised funds. With growing recreational use of our outdoor spaces, increasing barriers to access for youth to the outdoors, expansion of renewable energies, and pressing needs related to clean air and clean water, WCCF set a strategy to proactively increase giving and support outdoor-focused non-profits with capacity in addition to funding.

Our Community Foundation launched the CORE Fund in 2019 with support from a generous group of founders and friends passionate about the three focus areas: conservation, outdoor recreation and the environment. Given the broad spectrum CORE covers and WCCF’s finite resources, we work with our non-profit partners to support programs and projects with high-impact for the people and places of western Colorado. Some recent examples of funded projects include: the Outdoor Wilderness Lab (OWL) western Colorado’s only outdoor school that offers outdoor experiences through science-based curriculum to all D51 6th graders; the Colorado Water Trust’s work to keep  flows in the Colorado River above the confluence with Gunnison River; and Citizens for Clean Air biochar study that aims to keep carbon in the ground and reduce harmful burning practices.

CORE Leadership Initiatives supported by WCCF

2022 CORE Grants

$62,000 in Grants to Protect and Enhance the Environment

2021 CORE Grants

$100,000 in Grants to Protect and Enhance the Environment

2020 CORE Grants

$19,000 in Grants to Protect and Enhance the Environment

I was struck by the beauty of the landscape and realized how fragile some of our resources are, and that motivated me to want to help protect them.

~ Dave Murphy



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