Local grants available through Phoenix Foundation

Boundary Sentinel
By Boundary Sentinel
February 9th, 2011

Community groups from around the Boundary may have challenges raising money needed for worthwhile projects, but each year there is one option that makes their work just a bit easier. The Phoenix Foundation of the Boundary Communities’ 2011 granting opportunities are open once again to aid the region in building a better place to live for everyone.  While the Foundation’s grants tend to be small, they are often matched with fund raising done by local groups or support from local government to help achieve projects that leave a legacy. From a mobile defibrillator for the Rock Creek Medical Society to a fridge for the food bank, these small projects can create long-lasting change.  “The Phoenix Foundation’s endowment funds have grown significantly over the past ten years with the continued support of the active board of directors,” said Mona Mattei, executive director for the foundation. “Working in partnership with the Village of Midway and Greenwood Improvement Society, they are able to put money back into our communities at times when other sources of funding might be less available.”  After the Foundation completed the Vital Signs project in 2009, the board of directors for the Foundation committed to provide grants specifically related to the top areas of concern that were identified by Boundary citizens. This year, the board made a decision to open the grants to other projects, but that 50 percent of the grants will still address areas of concern in the Vital Signs report.  “The board felt strongly that they continue to help change areas that the feedback from the community said were the most important such as the environment, health, and youth,” explained Mattei. “But they did not want to be restrictive in what they could offer to the community.”  Vital Signs grants from 2010 included $500 to the Granby Wilderness Society (GWS) to start a River Watch project. The project is monitoring important river health indicators through regular testing of both the Kettle and Granby rivers in key locations. Jenny Coleshill, project co-ordinator for GWS, worked with youth from schools across the region, and even in Curlew, WA, to do the first year of testing.  “We engaged youth and teachers in the schools to provide stewardship for the rivers by going to the river to collect water quality tests and data,” explained Coleshill. “It’s an opportunity for kids to get out and on the river to learn about why these tests are important and the impact that communities have on the river, what we can do to help and collect data for long-term monitoring.”  Coleshill said that part of the money they received from the Foundation went to developing an information package for the schools that will be easy to use as a lesson plan to be able to include in regular classes.  “All of the kids really liked the project. There were a couple of high school kids that didn’t even know the name of the Kettle River and it was the first time they learned the name,” said Coleshill. “From talking about the fish and the impacts on the fish, what the tests are and where the data will go to, the kids were really engaged.”  Even the Ministry of Environment is also interested in the results of the data collected through the project so the small grant of $500 has certainly gone a long ways to support an important part of the Boundary’s environment.  Mattei added that the Foundation’s grants committee, chaired by Board Member Linda Manzon, will be reviewing applications in early March with an eye to how the proposals will support their community. Manzon and her committee work directly with applicants to help them develop successful proposals.  A letter of intent for a grant must be received by the Foundation by Feb. 28, or for the Midway Partnership by Feb. 19. Enquiries for the Greenwood Partnership Fund should be directed to the Greenwood Improvement Society.

For more information on applying for a grant from the Phoenix Foundation, or the Midway and Greenwood Partnerships, visit www.phoenix-foundation.net or contact Linda Manzon at 250-442-5997. 

Categories: GeneralIssues