Spring has graced the Tetons with lush rays of sun, clear mountain views of snow-capped peaks, and ever-greening grass in the valley. After a long, grey winter, nonprofits and community members alike have been warmed not only by the change of weather, but also the Community Foundation of Teton Valley’s largest Competitive Grants cycle to-date!
The Foundation was pleased to award $47,805 to a dozen local nonprofits in April. The growth these funds will perpetuate across the valley is truly inspirational. Teton Valley nonprofits will be growing everything from fresh food to the local aquifer, school and summer programming to their organizations – from the inside out. These grant awards allow our nonprofits to sink their roots into the soil of our community ever deeper, so that we might all bloom a little brighter.
For Family Safety Network, this means developing a strategic plan to expand services in child and family programing. Hiring a professional consultant will help them grow in a thoughtful, strategic and sustainable way.
With ever increased river usage, Friends of the Teton River has elected to take part in a 3-year study quantifying public use on the Teton River and its economic value. In order to address future recreation planning, this award will help tackle the impact increased river usage has had on both the resource and experience.
Full Circle Education plans to grow the functionality, production, and educational value of the Tetonia Outdoor Classroom this spring by installing a new greenhouse. Students of Tetonia Elementary get a hands-on learning experience in cultivation with Full Circle’s greenhouse program. Kids celebrate with a pizza party in the fall using food they’ve produced – full circle, so to speak.
Seniors West of the Tetons are hungry to improve the quality and nutritional value of the meals they offer five days a week in their dining room, as well as to homebound Seniors. This award will offer training for the staff cook and provide necessary kitchen equipment. With a growing senior population and a significant poverty level in Teton Valley, a high-quality food program is vital.
A 5th grade classroom at Rendezvous Elementary will be enhancing their room with a new audio system. The teacher will use an amplification system in order to better provide all students with access to instruction in a modern classroom setting. This pilot project will help provide teachers with the tools they need to enhance the quality of the classroom experience for students.
The Teton School District 401 and Teton Valley Community School are collaborating to pilot a safe and affordable six-week summer program for Teton Valley children. This program expands necessary childcare services for working parents, who might otherwise be unable to afford childcare during the summer months. This pilot program is prime example of what can flourish when a variety of stakeholders collaborate to address a critical community need.
While we readily consider growing above ground, it’s also important to look deep. The Aquifer Recharge Pilot project by the Teton Soil Conservation District does just that. This project brings together diverse local partners to stabilize local aquifer levels in order to improve drinking water, reliable agricultural irrigation availability, and base flows in the Teton River to sustain fish and wildlife populations – all of which are critical contributors to the local economy.
Teton Valley Community Recycling was awarded funding for eight dumpsters to combat the growing contamination problem in our community’s recycling program. This will provide the public with convenient bins to dispose of their non-recyclable items that they mistook for being recyclable; thus, drastically reducing the contamination of the plastic, cardboard, and paper bins. This will ensure that bales can be sold rather than dumped.
Teton Valley Education Foundation is cultivating success with a year-long GAP! (Girls Actively Participating) after-school program at Teton Middle School. This program seeks to promote success for middle school-aged girls through education, self-discovery and community building.
Teton Valley Mental Health Coalition knows about the importance of thriving from within and they understand that valley residents need access to affordable, quality mental health care. This grant funds a professional facilitator to assist key community stakeholders in generating solutions to critical, urgent gaps in mental health services. The outcome will be a strategic plan that TVMHC can use to ensure residents have access to the mental health care they deserve.
It’s not just the birds that are migrating; Teton Valley Museum Foundation recently moved a founding-family log cabin to the center of the valley, adjacent to the museum. In order to maximize access to this historic cabin, their grant will fund a handicapped accessible walkway so that everyone can experience the exhibit dedicated to early settler life in the Tetons.
With growth comes maintenance. Teton Valley Trails and Pathways is here to help with cleanup. Their grant will purchase a brush mower to help with trail and pathway maintenance over the summer and fall months. The mower will help keep trails clear and give Nordic pathways a head start early in the season.
A big THANK YOU to our donors and Tin Cup Challengers, for seeding the nonprofit garden that helps make Teton Valley such a unique locale. Your support helps root our nonprofits, so that they can grow their services and our community can truly bloom.