It’s that time of year again, and Alpine Initiatives is excited to announce our 2015 Grass Roots Grants finalists. Our unique program allows you, our supporters, to choose three organizations to receive one of our $5,000 grants. We have chosen five organizations that create tangible, positive change in their mountain communities, as finalists. These organizations embody all of the values that we at Alpine Initiatives stand for; environmental stewardship, sustainable living, community building, or creativity (art). Here is a brief description of this years five finalist organizations.

Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation

For two years, ASC has engaged ocean goers to collect surface water samples from the five oceans, finding more than 95% of the samples contaminated with plastic debris. Through consumer awareness, strategic partnerships and legislative action, ASC aims to reduce the amount of plastic entering the largest watershed in the country.

Beyond Boarding

Beyond Boarding’s Sacred Stewardship is a program in partnership with local elders and families. This snowshoe-split board exploration program in the mountain community of Iskut, BC, inspires youth by connecting them with the outdoors and providing them with valuable knowledge about local environmental and conservation issues. By reconnecting them to their families' traditional lands, language and culture, this program produces new stewards of the Sacred Headwaters area in North Western BC.

High Fives

High Five’s B.A.S.I.C.S. Program Service is designed to promote safety and awareness through world-class fundamentals coaching of action sports athletes and through educational videos that help promote critical thinking to winter sports enthusiasts of all ages. This year’s documentary, #KnowYourPark, is a 22-minute public service announcement filmed and edited in a ski documentary format to educate young snow sport athletes about the inherent risks and rewards of skiing and riding within the terrain park.

Local Farms First

Local Farms First and Save Our Snow have teamed up to create "Shop Local to Save Our Snow," a program that enables snowy mountain dwellers to access affordable organic food, year-round from local farmers in low-altitude nearby valleys. Due to cold temperatures and high elevations, resort towns don't have a much capacity for large volume local food production. Massive amounts of fossil fuels are used to transport, store and grow food products, often outside of the USA and often in factory/industrial farms. This unsustainable model creates irreversible pollution and carbon emissions along the way. Shop Local to Save Our Snow strengthens mountains economies and creates a model for other sustainable mountain communities.

Mountain Riders Alliance

The Mountain Rider’s Alliance is guided by a triple-bottom-line philosophy of environmental stewardship, community engagement and a rider-centric approach. Since the 1980’s, roughly one third of US ski areas have closed. Smaller, community-based hills have been particularly hard hit, as have the surrounding mountain communities and local economies. In response, the Mountain Playground program is being developed to create a consortium of like-minded, independent ski areas, which collaborate to keep mountain communities and their treasured recreational resources economically, socially and environmentally stable.

The Peaks Project

The Peaks Project gives underprivileged children in NYC the opportunity to participate in winter sports, specifically skiing and snowboarding, while promoting camaraderie and personal growth. The Peaks Project differs from other organizations in that it works with the same group of children throughout an entire winter. This allows participants to gain proficiency in various snow sports while developing a deeper connection to the mountains and the greater winter sports community.

Voting is now live and will go until January 29th. This is your chance to get involved by supporting your favorite organization so vote now! We will be announcing the winners on February 2nd, 2015 so make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

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