Cottonwood Foundation Newsletter
Volume 12, No. 1   Archives

Table Of Contents
Cottonwood awards $49,000 in grants in 2005
Cottonwood Partners Program to continue in 2006–2007
What is Cottonwood Foundation?
Give your support to Cottonwood Foundation!
In their own words

Cottonwood awards $49,000 in grants in 2005

Thanks to your support, this fall Cottonwood Foundation has awarded 23 grants of $1,000 each to grassroots organizations worldwide that are working for a sustainable future.

This brings the total grants awarded in 2005 by Cottonwood Foundation to $49,000, a new record! Cottonwood Foundation’s board has worked hard to select projects suggested by Cottonwood Partner organizations for which your contributions will make a significant difference.

Following is a listing of the 23 $1,000 grants awarded this past fall. (Please note that organizations followed by "USA/[another country]" are based in the United States, but were funded for a specific project in another country.)

  • African Blackwood Conservation Project, USA/Tanzania – to double capacity of a tree nursery in Tanzania, allowing for an additional 50,000 seedlings of the overharvested African blackwood tree (mpingo) to be produced every 18 months for replanting in the Kilimanjaro/Moshi area.

  • Association "Green Alternative", Republic Of Georgia – for a "rent-a-tree" program in which physically disabled children will handcraft 100 clay pots to be planted with native fir-tree saplings and "rented" to families during the holiday season as an alternative to using often illegally-cut trees, with the saplings to be replanted in landslide areas afterwards, also including public outreach on the negative impacts of illegal logging.

  • Blue Veins, Pakistan – to build 6 publicly-accessible toilets in Manki Village, Northwest Frontier Province where toilets are currently not available, accompanied by community education on sanitation, which will reduce current problems of disease, lack of privacy, and environmental degradation.

  • Center for People's Agricultural Plan for the 21st Century, Philippines - to construct a deep-well water irrigation system serving 10 organic family farmers in the village of Siason, town of Murcia, province of Negros Occidental, which will allow the farmers to grow food crops throughout the year and provide potable water, as well as for purchase of vegetable seeds, farm equipment, and training on composting.

    The Center for People’s Agricultural Plan for the 21st Century in the Philippines will construct a deep-well irrigation system with Cottonwood funds to serve 10 organic family farms.

  • Centre for Indian Knowledge Systems, India - to help construct 10 grain storage structures in ten villages in Kancheepuram District of Tamil Nadu where farmers are growing indigenous rice varieties organically, which will help farmers store seeds safely from pests and rodents, allow sufficient storage time before processing, and increase the price the farmers receive for their grain.

  • Centro de Educación Creativa, Costa Rica – for purchase of tools, equipment, and materials to expand this environmental school's reforestation program to 1,500 seedlings annually, which will extend a local biological corridor, increase green space and attract local species of insects and birds, and teach students and community members about the natural world.

  • Comite de Emergencia Garifuna de Honduras, Honduras - to strengthen and expand work to replant balaire- a formerly common but now threatened plant with cultural importance to the Garifuna - in Iriona and Guadalupe villages, and to work with youth to reforest with yagua, a traditional wood-like palm, including establishing tree nurseries in the Garifuna towns of Santa Rosa de Aquan and Barra de Aguan.

  • Common Ground Program, Kenya – to empower members of the Bafubi Women Group in Matunda village to address chronic hunger by carrying out biointensive mini-farming and agroforestry, purchase of tools and seeds, starting a tree nursery in the community to grow 10,000 seedlings, and building a water tank to harvest roof runoff at a local school with gray water to be recycled for gardening.

  • Cultural Survival, USA/Mongolia – for a project to assist Mongolia's nomadic herding Dukha people, including purchasing veterinary medicines to treat 600 Dukha reindeer against parasites and diseases, 20 carving tool kits for turning renewable reindeer antlers into crafts, 25 Tyvan language books for indigenous school children, and transportation costs for indigenous veterinarians.

  • Dos Pueblos: New York - Tipitapa Sister City Project, USA/Nicaragua – for purchase of equipment and related expenses to provide potable water to at least 50 families in the barrio of el parte este of San Benito Agricola, Tipitapa, Nicaragua which is currently without access to any water, with heavy involvement of local volunteer labor.

  • Global Children, USA/Cambodia – to help support a visual art program at the Kampong Cham Orphanage in Cambodia, home to about 65 orphans, that provides children with a better understanding of Khmer culture, identity and history through artistic endeavors, increases self-esteem and creativity, as well as providing young people with a skill that can open opportunities for them to earn an income.

  • Green India Foundation, India – to provide financial and technical assistance to 20 women who had lost their livelihoods after the 2004 Tsunami, which will allow them to each re-start their own market fish sales businesses, including enough capital for each woman to purchase an ice box and about 20 kilograms of fish for resale, leading to potential earnings of $160 per month.

  • Haiti Outreach, USA/Haiti – to help support well drilling projects in two small communities outside of Mombin Crochu, in Haiti’s northern plateau, which will provide clean water to approximately 500 people per well, and where people currently need to walk one mile to town with 5 gallon buckets on their heads for water for their daily drinking, cooking, bathing and cleaning needs.

  • Interaccion para el Desarrollo Sostenible, Bolivia – to support reforestation activities in the rural, indigenous communities of Sorata, San Pedro, Poquerani and Cirini through purchase of fruit tree and agroforestry seeds, to be accompanied by training courses presented in cooperation with local university student volunteers on the topics of sustainable tourism and the environment, agroforestry, and erosion control.

  • Jeevan Rekha Parishad, India – to set up a 20,000 liter capacity rainwater harvesting system that will provide drinking water and toilet facilities for 250 students and 3 teachers in Gandharubaru village school, Kalahandi district, Orissa State, which is located in a drought-prone area and currently has no source of water, as well as to conduct an educational campaign about rainwater systems for local communities.

  • Los Cimientos Alliance, USA/Guatemala – to help construct a security fence for the first phase of an environmental education center serving the Maya K'iche community of Los Cimientos which will provide a model for sustainable environmental development and affordable housing, along with protection and reforestation of an endangered land site near Lake Atitlan.

  • Nabichakha Women Group, Kenya – to help reverse deforestation in Kenya through ecologically-integrated self-help development initiatives that will increase indigenous forest cover while also having an economic application, including establishing tree nurseries, purchase of indigenous tree seeds, planting trees in livestock grazing paddocks, planting trees for fruit and fuel, and implementing other agroforestry practices.

  • Nepal Social Service Fund, USA/Nepal – to help pay for rent, utilities and kerosene for a "Safe House" in Kathmandu that serves as a homeless shelter for women and children, a home-away-from-home for surgical patients from rural areas who are in the city for medical care, an assistance provider for street children, and a community education center for health education and literacy.

  • Outreach Asia, USA/Philippines – to help construct a 2-door restroom and a clean water drinking system at the Tomas Oppus Central School in South Leyte, Philippines, serving 380 preschoolers and students in grades 1 – 6, which currently has no toilet facilities, and which will also be available for community use on weekends.

  • Porters' Progress, USA/Nepal – to continue daily education and empowerment programs offered free to working porters in Lukla, Nepal, estimated to serve at least 6,000 porters this year, including giving at least 500 English lessons, with funds used for part-time salary of a class facilitator, teaching materials and supplies, and a portion of office rent.

  • Trees for the Future, USA/Philippines – to purchase the harvest of five seed orchards, offering part-time employment to 16 families, that will produce an estimated 420,000 seeds of fast-growing trees to be planted by interested families in Zambales and Antique Provinces in the Philippines to help restore more than 880 acres of degraded lands to life, and sustainably produce food and fuel for more than 2,000 impoverished families.

  • Village Volunteers, USA/Kenya – to initiate the Namanyuk Orphan Poultry Project, offering about 50 orphaned Maasai youth an entrepreneurial opportunity and transferable skills in good management of poultry, while improving their health, providing income generation for school fees, uniforms, and books, and providing eggs and meat as sources of high quality protein to the community.

  • Wild Flora and Fauna Fund / FWFF, Bulgaria – to purchase about 2.5 acres of a mountain meadow near the town of Kotel in eastern Bulgaria to protect it from industrial agricultural development while managing it sustainably for hand-cut hay for traditional varieties of sheep, which can serve as a model promoting environmentally friendly land management practices for local farmers.

Cottonwood Partners Program to continue in 2006–2007

Cottonwood Foundation initiated the Cottonwood Partners program for 2004 - 2005 to focus the foundation’s funding on a selected group of excellent nonprofit organizations, most of which had previously received Cottonwood grants. As of October 2005, 66 organizations are participating in this program. Thanks to generous support from Cottonwood’s contributors, 49 of these partner organizations were awarded grants this year!

A web-based online survey was conducted in June 2005 of the current Cottonwood Partners, and results were very positive—with 86% of 50 responding partners very satisfied with their participation in the program. Partner organizations provided useful feedback about the administration of the Partners program, the grant application process, and the ways their organizations have benefited from participating.

As a result of positive feedback from the partners as well as the success of this approach from the board’s perspective, the Cottonwood Partners program will be continued for at least the next two years. For 2006 - 2007, many of the current organizations will be invited to continue as partners, and additional groups will also be invited. It is expected that the total number of partners will remain about the same, which will allow for a high percentage of the partners to receive funding.

What is Cottonwood Foundation?

Cottonwood Foundation is a tax-exempt charitable organization, run entirely by volunteers and with no paid staff, that provides small grants to grassroots organizations worldwide that are working for a sustainable future. Since it was started in 1992, it has awarded 360 grants totaling over $327,000. Eleven members currently serve on Cottonwood Foundation’s board of directors.

Giving Criteria
Cottonwood awards grants to partner organizations that combine all of the following: protecting the environment, promoting cultural diversity, empowering people to meet their basic needs, and relying on volunteers. Support of such groups makes it possible to really make a difference in creating a better world.

Cottonwood Foundation is proud that more than 90 percent of its expenditures go directly for grants. Less than 10 percent of all expenses are used to cover administration (such as postage, printing, supplies and postal box rental). The Foundation relies on donations of space, graphic design, computers, telephone, and hundreds of hours of volunteer labor to operate!

Board of Directors
Laura Bray
Sarah Hannigan, Treasurer
Karissa Huntington
Kathy Kinzig
Jan Lucke, Chair
Tom Meersman
Craig R. Miller, Vice Chair
Paul Moss, Executive Director
Erik Nelson, Secretary
Caleb Werth
Suzanne Wisniewski

Give your support to Cottonwood Foundation!

Your much appreciated contribution can be allocated to one or more funds:

General Fund: Supports all aspects of the Foundation’s charitable activities and administration

Endowment Fund: A permanent fund providing the Foundation with investment income

Land Fund: Supports grants to indigenous peoples’ organizations for repurchasing their land base in order to preserve their culture and environment

Please send contributions made out to "Cottonwood Foundation" to

Cottonwood Foundation
Box 10803
White Bear Lake, MN 55110

Phone: (651) 426-8797, Fax: (651) 294-1012


Thank you! Your contribution is tax-deductible as allowed by law.

In their own words

Here are some representative excerpts of some of the final grant reports recently received by Cottonwood Foundation. These help to demonstrate how your contributions to Cottonwood Foundation are making a difference!

Trees, Water and People, USA/Guatemala

“Trees, Water & People’s work with communities along the south coast of Guatemala continues to be very successful. Thanks to support from the Cottonwood Foundation we helped 20 families to improve their lives and protect their natural resources by building fuel-efficient, healthy cookstoves in their homes. Financing received from the Cottonwood Foundation was used directly towards purchasing materials for the fuel-efficient, healthy stoves. These funds are becoming evermore critical due to the increase in gasoline and metal prices.

Beyond the obvious difference in the lives of the families who received stoves, the financial support from the Cottonwood Foundation allowed TWP to extend our stove project into new, marginalized communities surrounding Tiquisate. In doing so, we are educating more communities about the hazards of indoor air pollution and offering clean, efficient alternatives.”

Goriber Asroy, Bangladesh

“Thank you for your support to Goriber Asroy’s activities. By the Cottonwood foundation grant-2005 Goriber Asroy Start its sus-tainable Beekeeping project in this year. The executive committee of Goriber Asroy pleased to its project Committee for carrying out the project with full attention. The project implemented together with community peoples active participation in all of its activities. We believe we can able to achieve the entire project expected outcome. Goriber Asroy supplies 100 beehives among the 100 bee farmers. According to the flexible design our local carpenters make this hive with the close monitoring of GA’s staff.
The main objective of this project was to increase jobs and calories intake which we fully gained. We also able to achieve gradual reduce of chemical spray for pollination. We pleased to see that the bee grows its number by reproduction properly. The entire project is initiated with the direct support of Cottonwood Foundation. We hope that Cottonwood Foundation continuing its support to root-level small organization. Thank you for your kind co-operation.”

Cottonwood Foundation Contributors Update
Laurie Gustafson, Editor

Paul Moss, Executive Director

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