LOR Foundation Funds Visions for Stronger Towns


JACKSON, WY – The LOR Foundation today announced grants to 15 rural communities and towns in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, and Wyoming. Each town will receive $100,000 toward creating healthy, livable, and prosperous communities. The awards represent the broadest grantmaking round in the Foundation’s history and reflect a commitment to funding locally-driven solutions.

A Statement from the LOR Foundation and the Trust for Public Land

May 19, 2017

In 2016, the LOR Foundation and The Trust for Public Land launched an ambitious Pilot Program to engage with small towns to define and implement healthier and more livable communities. During the first year, the Pilot met critical milestones.  We also learned important lessons about the best ways to engage with communities and we now know that requires a reorganized approach. As a result, LOR and The Trust for Public Land have mutually agreed to conclude our collective work on this Pilot. Both organizations will continue to work with these communities individually to protect the lands they love and improve the livability and quality of life in small towns. We are thankful to these communities for their partnership and passion for our shared mission.

New Member of LOR Team: Jeremy Grimm

May 9, 2017

Jackson, WY – The LOR Foundation is pleased to announce that Jeremy Grimm will join the Foundation as a program officer in Sandpoint, Idaho. A widely respected member of the Sandpoint community, Jeremy will play an important role in leading the Foundation’s community-driven grantmaking in Northern Idaho. Jeremy will work closely with community residents, leaders, and businesses to develop solutions to the challenges facing the region. Jeremy will be based in the Sandpoint area, and begins Wednesday, May 10.

Go Figure

July 14, 2016

Three large wooden figures were erected by Jackson Hole Public Art and local volunteers in Seeley Lake this past week. The intent of the stick figures is to get people to slow down going through town. They are temporary and will be taken down after a couple of months. The community can decide if they want to keep them or send them back to Jackson Hole, Wyo.

The LOR Foundation funded the project. Jackson Hole Public Art is developing a public art and place-making toolkit in the intermountain west.

LOR Foundation Names Ben Alexander Chief Program Officer

April 5, 2016

The LOR Foundation announced today that Ben Alexander will join the Foundation as a chief program officer. A widely respected researcher and nonprofit leader, Ben will work with grantees as well as help scale the evolution of LOR’s grant-making strategies, data analytics and policy initiatives. He will be based in Bozeman, Montana, and begins on April 18.

A Message to Our Partners from Deb Love

March 24, 2016

It’s been an exciting first three months as Executive Director of the LOR Foundation. I began with a focus on listening and inquiry, and have had the pleasure of meeting or talking with many of you. I greatly appreciate your feedback, advice, and candor as I work to position LOR for the future. I still have so much to learn, but I wanted to share my early perspective and some information about what I see ahead.

San Luis Valley Coalition Protects Alamosa’s ‘Farm Park’

Special to the Post, Pagosa Daily Post, March 11, 2016

Protection of the Rio Grande Healthy Living Park is now complete. The Trust for Public Land (TPL), the San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition (LFC), and Colorado Open Lands (COL) have completed the permanent acquisition and protection of the 38-acre Polston School property in Alamosa, Colorado as the site of the Rio Grande Healthy Living Park. The project was made possible thanks to $700,000 from the LOR Foundation and $254,000 from the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund (GOCO).

“Our lives are not simply black and white”

Keith H. Hammonds, Medium, March 8, 2016

Espanola, New Mexico, lies smack in a high-desert valley that curls into taupe foothills that, in turn, fold into the Jemez and Sangre de Cristo mountains. The Rio Grande and Rio Chama rivers merge here, and for a time, the Chili Line railroad bustled along the Rio Grande, hauling freight between Santa Fe and Colorado. That shut down in 1941, leaving behind a small city that today feels…left behind.

And now, the news. Or maybe not.

Leah Todd, Medium, March 3, 2016

It isn’t difficult to find the 4th Street Food Store in Saguache, Colorado. It’s a beige storefront on one of the few sleepy blocks that make up Saguache’s downtown. Part grocery store and part thrift shop, it’s a de facto community center for Saguache. Almost everyone knows the store’s energetic owner, Marge Hoglin, and much of the town seems to have their hand in some part of the store’s operation. On one December morning, it was quiet out front. No other cars passed me as I parked and then shoved my door open against the wind.

I was there to talk about the news, something this scrappy town of 500 doesn’t get a lot of.

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

American Rivers, Press Release, February 10, 2016

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.

Ambitious effort seeks to restore forests, protect water

J.R. Logan, The Taos News, January 24, 2016

Forester Jim Arciniega whispers beneath his breath as he counts the tiny growth rings of a ponderosa pine up Capulin Canyon, a few miles east of Taos.

The rings are from a pencil-size core sample that Arciniega, a Forest Service employee, pulled from the trunk of the tree with a specialized hand drill. Each ring shows one year of growth. The wider the ring, the more the tree grew that year.

Forest thinning project gets off to good start

Ollie Reed Jr., Albuquerque Journal, December 20, 2015

It’s been snowing in New Mexico’s mountains recently, but Laura McCarthy says much of that vital moisture will be wasted in the state’s dense forests.

McCarthy, director of conservation for the Nature Conservancy in New Mexico, said forests are nature’s water towers, releasing water in runoffs that feed the streams and rivers that provide drinking water and water for agriculture, industry and recreation.

LOR Foundation welcomes new executive director

Melissa Cassutt, Jackson Hole News & Guide, December 4, 2015

As of the beginning of the year, the LOR Foundation will welcome a new executive director.

Deb Love will head the Jackson Hole nonprofit, overseeing the foundation’s regional offices in Wyoming and New Mexico. She previously served as senior vice president for the Trust for Public Land, the nonprofit spearheading the fundraising needed to rebuild Astoria Hot Springs.

LOR Foundation Sponsors the StoryCorps Great Thanksgiving Listen

LOR Foundation Press Release, November 23, 2015

The LOR Foundation is a proud sponsor of the Great Thanksgiving Listen, a program that encourages young people to record an interview with an elder over Thanksgiving and during the holiday season. The Great Thanksgiving Listen is a project of StoryCorps, an organization dedicated to recording, sharing and preserving stories of Americans from all walks of life.

LOR Foundation Press Release, November 4, 2015

The LOR Foundation is pleased to announce that Deb Love will be its new executive director. Love holds a Master of Science in natural resources management from Antioch New England Graduate School and a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of California at Berkeley. She resides in Bozeman, MT, and will begin her role as executive director January 1, 2016, overseeing the Foundation’s regional offices in Wyoming and New Mexico.

Keith Kinnaird, Bonner County Daily Bee, October 14, 2015

City and Bonner County officials cut the ribbon Tuesday on a new playground at the fairgrounds.

“Really, it was advantageous here. It’s highly visible and we have some dense subdivisions over here,” said city Parks & Recreation Director Kim Woodruff. “It’s just a really great location.”

The $300,000 project was accomplished through public/private partnerships which held costs down. The bulk of the project, approximately $200,000, was paid for by the LOR Foundation and Friends of the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail. Other contributors included the Inland Northwest Community Foundation’s Equinox Fund and Community Strategies Grant Program.

Jason Suder, Jackson Hole News & Guide, September 11, 2015

Jackson is renowned as an artist’s haven, rife with the work of world-class creators such as Ai Weiwei, Thomas Moran and Carl Rungius.

But be sure to look beyond the gallery walls and sculpture gardens, because all across town public art adorns the urban geography for the enjoyment of all residents and visitors.

Public art has become ingrained in the fabric of Jackson’s development, factored into the town’s annual budget. It is a commitment, Jackson Mayor Sara Flitner said.

Silvia Wood, Montana News Tribune, September 8, 2015

It took months of work by local activists, working in conjunction with a statewide land trust, a national conservation group, and other funding partners, but the backers of an innovative “healthy living park” in the heart of Alamosa have finally secured the money to complete the acquisition of 38 prime open-space acres on the Rio Grande — land that two years ago seemed destined to become a private, high-end RV resort.