The Ice Mountain Environmental Stewardship Fund is celebrating 20 years of funding programs that protect and enhance the Muskegon River watershed.
The fund was established at Fremont Area Community Foundation in 2002 through the generosity of Great Spring Waters of America, Inc., now BlueTriton Brands. In 2018, Ice Mountain renewed its support with a $2 million commitment over the next 20+ years. As an endowed fund of the Community Foundation, this fund is a permanent, ever-growing resource dedicated to improving the overall health of the watershed.
“We have been proud to partner with Ice Mountain over the last 20 years to support sustaining the waters of the Muskegon River watershed,” said Shelly Kasprzycki, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “The Muskegon River has always been a critical resource to our communities. Thanks to Ice Mountain’s generosity and the work of partner organizations throughout the watershed, we are striving to ensure that the river and its watershed are protected and enhanced for generations to come.”
More than $800,000 has been awarded from the fund to projects focused on conservation, enhancement, and restoration of the watershed.
Since 2002, grants have supported erosion control and bank stabilization projects, environmental assessments and studies, clean up and waste collection programs, educational programs for local students and property owners, and more. Grant recipients have included multiple school systems, conservation districts, parks commissions, municipalities, and other organizations doing important work in the watershed.
“BlueTriton Brands and Ice Mountain are committed to supporting initiatives to protect and enhance the health and natural beauty of the Muskegon River Watershed, which as Michigan’s largest watershed, is important as an ecologic and economic resource,” said Arlene Anderson-Vincent of the company’s commitment to the IMESF. “We value our longstanding partnership with Fremont Area Community Foundation to fund conservation, community, and environmental group projects across the entire stretch of the watershed.”
This year, grants totaling $56,500 were awarded to five projects, including Mecosta Conservation District’s hazardous waste collection, the Dragon Trail at Hardy Dam, and Central Michigan District Health Department’s scanning of septic and well records. A full list of grants awarded can be found on the Community Foundation’s website.
Grant applications for the Ice Mountain Environmental Stewardship Fund are accepted online each year from June 1 until July 15. Individuals and organizations interested in supporting the health of the watershed are also invited to contribute to the fund at any time. More information on the fund, how to donate, and how to apply for a grant can be found at facommunityfoundation.org/icemountain.