Alpine Initiatives is excited to announce the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council, The Office for Resource Efficiency and The Chill Foundation, as the winners of its Grass Roots Grants campaign! With 2,286 votes cast via Facebook, there was no shortage of support for the organizations selected as finalists in the contest. When voting came to a close on April 2nd, these three organizations had successfully rallied their communities and managed to garner the most votes. Each of these three winning organizations will now receive a $5,000 grant from Alpine Initiatives to assist in funding their continued work. Alpine Initiatives would like to thank everyone who voted and all the organizations that applied to be in the contest. Here is a look at the three winning organizations and the programs AI's grants will help support. 

Yampa Valley Sustainability Council
Location: Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Mission: Provide leadership to advance environmental, economic, and social sustainability for current and future generations through education, programs, and building collaboration among individuals, organizations, businesses, and government.
Program: ReTree Steamboat 2013 - ReTree Steamboat was jump-started by young Steamboat Springs residents in 2010 and today, with the help of YVSC, is leading large reforestation efforts throughout Routt County. Not only does this event increases biodiversity and creates wonderful tree-skiing and snowboarding, but it engages many volunteers. ReTree provides a great opportunity for local and visiting snow sports enthusiasts to volunteer, learn about, and help enhance public land. In 2013, ReTree Steamboat will actively engage more than 400 volunteer participants of all ages, including 200 students to plant 1,500 trees.
Center For Resource Efficiency
Location: Gunnison County, Colorado, 
Mission: Empower the Gunnison Valley to lower utility costs, develop renewable energy sources, decrease carbon emissions, increase access to local foods and build a more sustainable, self-sufficient economy.
Program: Local Farms First - The Gunnison Valley, home to Crested Butte Mountain and abundant backcountry access, is one of the coldest areas in the continental US, making agricultural production a challenge - albeit, a surmountable one. ORE's Local Farms First Program (LFF) fills a critical market and transportation gap in our remote area by building a dependable local food system - a key ingredient to a sustainable community.
The one-of-a-kind program is a year-round online farmers market and delivery service that facilitates direct sales between 50+ producers and 400+ customers. Local Farms First preserves agricultural lands while connecting families, businesses and schools with Certified Organic, Naturally Grown or chemical-free products from Gunnison's historic ranching industry and from neighboring Delta County, home to Colorado's largest concentration of organic farms. 
The Chill Foundation
Location: Burlington, Vermont
Mission: To build the self-esteem and life skills of underserved youth through board sports. 
Program: Chill Burlington Development Program - This exciting program provides opportunities for at-risk and underserved youth to build self-esteem and life skills through board sports. Each year, 75-100 youth participate in a six-week program that includes lift tickets, lessons, transportation, and head-to-toe gear. A large number of chaperones, including Chill alumni and Burton employees, volunteer off and on-snow. By equipping youth participants with valuable life skills and self-esteem, they are able to grow up to be active and engaged members of the Burlington community.

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