By Rose S. Prinzi
Throughout the year and for many years, 30 years to be precise, the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation has consistently provided area organizations monetary support on special projects and needs. It is like Christmas all year long! The Foundation has monthly Field of Interest grants, yearly Community Service grants, scholarships and designated funds which receive annual support as deemed by the donors.
As we reviewed our grant making for 2008, we noticed a trend. We became “green” and did not realize it! As a result of the “nature” of what we do, we have had the opportunity to support many environmental endeavors throughout our community.
“Green”. The dictionary defines as: having positive environmental attributes or objectives. Two recent grants illustrate our environmental inclination.
Over the last 27 years, the City of Jamestown has had the unique distinction of being named as “Tree City USA.” During that time, the City has planted 4,888 trees, in part, with the monetary support from the Urban Forestry Fund established at and administered by the Foundation. Since the fund began, over $7,000 has been donated by the Foundation to the City of Jamestown to continue its work in developing our area as an “urban forest. During 2008 the Community Foundation granted an additional $8,000 in support of the City’s tree planting program through our Unrestricted Community Service funds.
Trees are an essential part of the quality of life in a community. Their beauty enhances the landscape in which we live. They alter the environment in which we live by moderating climate, improving air quality, and conserving water. The stature, beauty, strength and endurance of trees give them the potential for a long life and offer a belief in the future. By planting trees, we demonstrate faith, optimism and commitment to our community and its environment.
The Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy is another organization which has benefited from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. This county-wide organization has a mission to preserve and enhance the water quality, scenic beauty and ecological health of the lakes, streams and watersheds of the Chautauqua region. Last year, the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy established an endowment fund at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. The purpose of this fund is to create long term financial stability for the CWC to continue delivery of its land conservation and watershed education programs in perpetuity.
Also, this past spring the Foundation supported the CWC’s Education program, again through our Unrestricted Community Service funds. This program is designed to instruct and inform property owners and managers how to implement landscaping and yard care practices which reduce fertilizer and soil sediment inputs to Chautauqua Lake tributaries and the lake itself. CWC feels that effective educational programs for homeowners, landscapers and ground managers, if implemented, will collectively have a significant impact on storm water generation, soil erosion, and stream erosion to substantially curtail the growth of lake plants and algae. Another example of the Foundation supporting projects which impact on our environment.
If you would like to support our local environmental groups achieve their dreams, consider making a gift this season to the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation’s unrestricted funds. It would make a difference to the Chautauqua region’s natural world and will continue the Christmas spirit of giving all year long.
If you are considering a tax-deductible, end of the year, Holiday gift and would like to talk with the Community Foundation staff about your possible options, please contact us at 661-3390. We can provide you with information to help you give a gift that will last for many holidays to come.