by Joe Neuhof

Forever Our Rivers Foundation (FOR) awarded $25,000 in grants this Friday to organizations connecting communities to their rivers. This grant cycle focused on improving river health in the southwest through projects ranging from stream habitat improvement and maintenance to engaging youth in education and providing public access to waterways.

The ten projects funded are largely run by organizations based in Colorado but include regional efforts from organizations such as Brown Folks Fishing and Casting for Recovery. “Our foundation is committed to engaging communities to enjoy, conserve and protect our rivers,” says Forever Our Rivers Executive Director Joe Neuhof. “We have a growing network of River Health Partners, centered in Colorado and working out into the West and eventually the nation.

Our goal is to raise over 5 million dollars over the next 5 years by helping our Corporate

Partners and their customers support clean water and healthy rivers. That money will fund boots‐on-the-ground nonprofits, which are key to getting rivers healthy and keeping them that way.”

Forever Our Rivers’ funding program is one-of‐a-kind, bringing businesses and nonprofits together to help make rivers and communities healthier. With ongoing support from the Walton Family Foundation, dozens of corporate partners, and a network of over 25 nonprofits, the foundation is growing quickly and earning some high-profile praise.

“We are proud to support and partner with the Forever Our Rivers Foundation in developing a sustainable river funding model,” says Peter Skidmore with Walton Family Foundation. “The Forever Our Rivers Model is the best bet to provide reliable and sustainable funding, as public and philanthropic sources often do not meet long‐term needs to protect and restore healthy rivers.”

Organizations funded include: Brown Folks Fishing, Casting for Recovery, Colorado West Land Trust, Four Corners Water Center, Friends of Youth & Nature, Institute for Environmental Solutions, Purgatoire Watershed Partnership, Roaring Fork Conservancy, San Juan Citizens Alliance, and River Science.