Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, January 5, 2024- The Colorado West Land Trust raised $20,000 in 2023 to support its conservation mission with the help of a matching donation from Alpine Bank.
Alpine Bank offered a $10,000 matching donation as part of its 50th anniversary celebration in 2023, and as a recognition of the Land Trust’s 40th anniversary, which it celebrated in 2020.
“We’ve worked with Colorado West Land Trust for years and so we decided to come together in celebration of their 40 years and in celebration of our 50 (years) we decided to do a match up to $10,000,” Alpine Bank Community Outreach Director Tawni Kelley said.
The Land Trust used the matching donation to raise an additional $10,000 through new donations, with increased donations from members of the Land Trust and with new monthly donations, Colorado West Land Trust Project Manager Libby Collins said. The Land Trust raised the funds from August through early December 2023.
“We really appreciate how donors are willing to take these opportunities and to be continuing supporters of the work that we do,” Collins said. “Conservation work is so important because it does preserve our way of life. It preserves western Colorado and the reasons why so many of us live here and continue to enjoy the lifestyle.”
The Alpine Bank donation funds came from the bank through its loyalty debit card program. Kelley said the bank offers an Environment Loyalty Debit Card and the bank donates 10 cents of its own funds to go toward conservation and sustainability causes each time a customer uses the card.
“We believe wherever there is an Alpine Bank the community should be better for it,” Kelley said. “So that’s why we give out dollars and allow our employees to put volunteer hours into things they are passionate about. That’s just our culture here.”
The money raised will go toward Colorado West Land Trust’s mission of preserving important agricultural lands, wildlife habitat, as well as access to trails and public open space, according to Collins.
Kelley said Alpine Bank had in the past donated to support work along the Monument Trail at Lunch Loops in Grand Junction. It also organizes a volunteer day for its employees every year to do conservation work along the trail.
“This is one of those opportunities where we got with the Land Trust and said, ‘Hey, what volunteer work do you have? We’ll send a team out,’” Kelley said. “Then we just sent it out to our people to see who is interested.”
Alpine Bank employees are given 24 hours of paid time to volunteer every year, Kelley said. Last year the 300 Mesa County employees of Alpine Bank volunteered around 1,500 hours locally, she said. Collins said she was impressed with how committed Alpine Bank and its staff are to supporting the community.
“Alpine Bank staff support is really critical,” Collins said. “It contributes to the numbers of volunteers, but it also helps them really see the type of work that we do and why it’s so important and keep them excited about their support and how they help us complete our mission.”
By Dan WestShare