03.20.13

Royal Bank of Canada Helps Launch CLF’s Youth Corps Partnership Project

The Conservation Lands Foundation is pleased to announce a new funding partnership in Colorado with Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). One of Canada’s largest corporate donors and contributors to charitable organizations worldwide, RBC’s gift to the Conservation Lands Foundation will fund restoration work on the Colorado River as it flows through McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area, part of the National Conservation Lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

The work will take place this spring with the Colorado Youth Corps Association. Youth Corps crews will remove invasive tamarisk and Russian olive from riverbanks, remove Russian knapweed, and plant and protect native Freemont cottonwoods and coyote willow. These native species enhance wildlife habitat, help rehabilitate the river corridor and improve water quality.

The gift is part of RBC’s “Blue Water Project,” launched in 2007, which is a wide-ranging, multi-year program to help foster a culture of water stewardship in Canada and abroad. RBC has committed over $36 million to more than 500 organizations for awareness, education and on-the-ground programs that protect watersheds and ensure access to clean drinking water.

We are extremely grateful to RBC for helping us put “boots on the ground” in Colorado. This is a restoration partnership the Conservation Lands Foundation initiated last fall, with a kick-off event in Denver to celebrate youth and veterans conservation corps, the National Conservation Lands, private funders and new opportunities to put these things together to improve water and habitat conservation, as well as create jobs. Staff and board members from several organizations, community leaders, BLM leadership from D.C., and elected officials all attended. Senator Mark Udall delivered a video address.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, who attended and spoke at the event, may have said it best when he told the crowd of 100, “When you take conservation corps, tie them in with veterans [and youth], mix that with the Bureau of Land Management staff that’s in Colorado… then you begin to get a pretty rich soup. Mix in some private industry funders to provide resources or donations, add the Conservation Lands Foundation. Now it’s seasoned, now it’s got heat and energy.”

We couldn’t be happier to have RBC be part of this “heat and energy.” We will post more information soon about additional partners, project scope and opportunities for volunteers to participate. Please stay tuned.

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Posted by Charlotte Overby in Blog & Videos