PEEC Receives Funding To Get People Outside

New Belgium Brewing has donated millions to communities where they brew and/or serve their beer, a list that includes Los Alamos.​ Courtesy Image

PEEC News:

The Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC), operators of the Los Alamos Nature Center, recently received two grants to help get people outside. One funder, New Belgium Brewery, makers of Fat Tire Ale, is a long-time supporter of the nature center, while the second, the Clif Bar Family Foundation, is a new supporter of the center.

Clif Bar Family Foundation will support PEEC’s popular Passport to the Pajarito Plateau program. Now in its second edition with 16 new trails, the Passport is a fun, engaging, and easy way for people to get outside and explore our beautiful area. Since the program began in April 2015, more than 5,000 hikes have been reported back to PEEC, with 132 people completing one of the passports and two people completing both! The funds from Clif Bar Family Foundation will ensure that PEEC can continue to give out prizes for both passports, encouraging even more people to explore our trails.

Clif Bar Family Foundation is now supporting PEEC, one of many organizations that work conserve wild places and open spaces.​ Courtesy Image

The Clif Bar Family Foundation supports hundreds of organizations that are working tirelessly to conserve wild places and open spaces, advocate for pedestrian- and bike-friendly communities, and expand urban forests and restore watersheds. Since its inception in 2006, Clif Bar Family Foundation has awarded more than $20 million to more than 800 organizations nationwide. Upon awarding the grant, a Foundation spokeperson said, “Among the hundreds of proposals we have received, your organization stands out as one that will offer social and environmental change. We are confident that your work will continue to contribute to your community.”

The second grant, from New Belgium Brewing, supports field trips to the nature center and field science lessons at local and regional schools for grades pre-K through sixth grade. As a certified B Corp with progressive programs including 100 percent employee ownership, open book management, and a $1/barrel philanthropy program, New Belgium has donated more than $8 million to the communities where they brew and serve their beer. New Belgium’s gift to PEEC will get kids outside, doing hands-on science on the trails and in their schoolyards as part of PEEC’s well-loved Pajarito Plateau Field Science Curriculum.

Teachers and students alike appreciate having a chance to learn outside with PEEC. A first grade teacher said, “My students loved exploring in the woods, looking for insects, checking to see if they had insect traits, and graphing their results.” A second grade teacher reported that she overheard these student comments on a PEEC field trip, “I love being outside in nature. You learn more when you are outside,” and “The sun feels great and I can see so much. We learn better outside.” She also commented that her students are motivated by seeing and touching things, and this makes them very interested in analyzing the data they collect.

Both funders, along with PEEC’s many donors and members, and Los Alamos County, contribute to making the Los Alamos Nature Center the vibrant community hub that it is. PEEC exists for the community and because of it, and encourages everyone to visit the nature center and then get outside.