July 5, 2017

LOR Foundation Funds Visions for Stronger Towns 
Fifteen communities will share $1.5 million to enhance livability and quality of life

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.

“We are thrilled to support 15 innovative communities with resources for a better future,” said Ben Alexander, chief program officer at the LOR Foundation. “These grants will allow each community to continue planning and implementing projects to protect clean water, increase access to recreation, keep working lands productive, promote economic development, and improve public health.”

Proposals were selected from 15 communities stretching from western Montana to southern New Mexico. The applications showed a clear vision for improving quality of life with the broad support from local government, business leaders, and community development agencies. While the challenges facing each town differ, these applications represent a belief that community collaboration and engagement can produce solutions that capitalize on the strengths that make each place unique.

For example, in Cortez, Colorado, funding will support the development of the Center for Ecology and Regenerative Agriculture to reconnect the community to the land and local foods. In Dillon, Montana, the grant will help develop a public park on the Beaverhead River with connections to nearby trails. And in Lander, Wyoming, funding will support efforts to establish healthy flows on the Popo Agie River that will sustain a variety of uses in the community.

The 15 grantees are:

  • San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition, Alamosa, CO
  • Central Colorado Conservancy, Chaffee County (Buena Vista and Salida), CO
  • Montezuma Land Conservancy, Cortez, CO
  • Trails 2000, Durango, CO
  • Teton Regional Land Trust, Driggs, ID
  • Community Foundation of the Gunnison Valley, Gunnison, CO
  • Kaniksu Land Trust, Sandpoint, ID
  • Flathead Land Trust, Columbia Falls, MT
  • Beaverhead Trails Coalition, Dillon, MT
  • Bitter Root Land Trust, Hamilton, MT
  • Blackfoot Challenge, Lincoln, MT
  • Sanders County Community Development Corporation, Thompson Falls, MT
  • New Mexico Land Conservancy, Silver City, NM
  • Taos Land Trust, Taos, NM
  • Healthy River Initiative, Lander, WY