Cottonwood Foundation Newsletter
Volume 13, No. 1   Archives

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Table Of Contents
Cottonwood awards $45,000 in grants in 2006
Cottonwood Foundation in your estate planning
What is Cottonwood Foundation?
Give your support to Cottonwood Foundation!
In their own words

Cottonwood awards $45,000 in grants in 2006

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 2006 by Cottonwood Foundation to $45,000! 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 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 help rebuild the tree nursery at the Moshi Mpingo Plot in Tanzania which had been destroyed during recent monsoon rains, including purchase of netting to shade seedlings and purchase of fencing to protect a new addition to the nursery area from grazing by livestock.

  • Blue Veins, Pakistan — to provide a three-month training of tailoring, embroidery and sewing to 20 women in Shangla District, Pakistan, who were left with no male wage earner in their family as a result of the October 8, 2005, earthquake, including providing each trainee with a sewing machine, necessary accessories and a cash amount of 3000 rupees at the end of the training which will enable them to become self-sufficient by starting their own small businesses.

  • Center for People’s Agricultural Plan for the 21st Century, Philippines — to enhance a marketing project for organic farmers, and to improve their farm-to-market hauling facilities for their raw agricultural products, including purchase of 25 basket cases, orientation on Philippine Organic Standards for 30 family-based organic farmers, training on seed saving for 30 family-based organic farmers, and purchase and reproduction of traditional and indigenous seeds of vegetables and other food crops.

  • Centro de Educación Creativa, Costa Rica — to purchase materials and equipment to expand the school’s reforestation program with the goal of planting 1,200 native cloud forest trees this year and donating 500 seedlings to other organizations in the community, including transport for organic fair-trade coffee mulch, purchase of tools and supplies, seedling bags, educational materials, signage, and materials to build an educational nature trail.

  • Cultural Survival, USA/Mongolia — for the Totem Peoples Project to be used for shipping costs for veterinary supplies and craft tools from Ulan Baator, Mongolia to Dukha reindeer herder camps in Northern Mongolia, and returning to Ulan Baator with carved reindeer horn items for sale in the United States, including jeep or van rental with driver; horses, riding reindeer and guide fees; and meals for 4 people for 14 days.

  • Dos Pueblos: New YorkTipitapa Sister City Project, USA/Nicaragua — to support the creation of a potable water project serving the community of Los Caleros, Nicaragua, with a population of 86 people in 14 families, including ditch excavation, installation of a network of PVC pipes, accessories, and refilling and ditch compaction.

  • Ecoclub Nongovernmental Youth Organization, Ukraine — to demarcate and protect the nature reserve “Giant Horsetail,” including design and production of information boards, design and production of border signs, printing of leaflets, wooden bars for ant hills, cement, and tools.

  • Friends Service Council, Nepal — to reconstruct a 1.4 km road which is in very poor condition that is the only connection from the village of Imadol, Nepal ,(with 300 inhabitants) to the main road, including purchase of gravel, pipe, brick, sand, and cement, with the local community also contributing needed funds for this project.

  • Harvest of Hope Self-Help Community Centre, Kenya — to fund a project in which Coral Junior and Senior High School students and community members are taught about sustainable agriculture and food production through hands-on experience, as well as providing vocational training, a community sensitization workshop for 500 students and 300 community members, setting up vegetable nurseries in 10 villages, transportation to and from the fields, tools, and tree and vegetable nursery equipment.

  • Interaccion para el Desarrollo Sostenible, Bolivia — to support a reforestation program in the communities of Laripata, Corini and Tutuacasa, with planting of native and introduced species and fruit trees, including providing agroforestry seeds, training courses, educational materials, and transportation.

  • Los Cimientos Alliance, USA/Guatemala — to be used to install a water tank (on a cement foundation, powered by a bicycle pedal-powered pumping system) at the K’aslem Mandala Environmental Education Center serving the Maya K’iche community of Los Cimientos in Guatemala, which will provide drip irrigation in the permaculture garden, the medicinal plant garden, the reforestation tree seedling nursery and for fruit trees planted on the land.

  • Maka Foundation, USA (Land Fund) — to assist in the purchase of a 160 acre tract of land within the Lower Brule Sioux Reservation that once was Indian-owned but passed to non-Indian ownership, with future use of the land intended to exclude cattle grazing and for the land to be managed with the goal of increasing native prairie wildlife, possibly including light bison grazing.

  • MAMACILA Apo Ginopakan Higaonon Tribal Council, Inc., Philippines (Land Fund) — to help repurchase about 10 hectares of land that had been sold to non-indigenous peoples, with a portion of the land being used for a proposed relocation site for an indigenous community settlement and the rest of the land being developed for agroforestry communal areas.

  • Mangrove Action Project, USA/Brazil — to be used to support ecosystem recuperation by Movimento Cultural Arte Manha, in Caravelas, in the State of Bahia, Brazil, with funding for boat transportation to collection and planting areas, building materials for tree nurseries, wheel barrow for general use, shade cloths for nurseries, materials for wood-carving workshop, radio publicity, digital camera, and snacks/meals in the field.

  • Nabichakha Women Group, Kenya — to be used by this grassroots women’s organization to establish a nutrition garden alongside a new poultry-rearing project, with funding to be used for purchase of seeds, poultry, and building materials for a poultry structure.

  • Nepal Social Service Fund, USA/Nepal — to help pay for rent, utilities, fuel and food 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 orphaned street children, and a community education center for health education and literacy.

  • Norwalk/Nagarote Sister City Project, USA/Nicaragua — to provide scholarships in Nagarote for students whose families cannot afford to send their children to public school (which is not free in Nicaragua), with funds being used to support 20 students at $50/each which will cover tuition, books, school supplies, uniforms and shoes for the students for one year.

  • Porters participating in education and empowerment programs conducted by Porters’ Progress in Nepal.

    Porters’ Progress, USA/Nepal — to support ongoing education and empowerment programs for porters in Nepal, including hosting the following activities for porters: monthly empowerment meetings, daily basic English language classes, expanded environmental education classes, and training in making “eco products” from plastic wrappers and other waste.

  • Sanchuan Development Association, China — to support the Minhe Mangghuer Culture Preservation Project, including 100 hours of video recording of the endangered Mangghuer culture, making 150 CDs, and continued work on Mangghuer culture study in the future, with the goal of slowing down the rapid loss of Minhe Mangghuer language, increasing pride in being Minhe Mangghuer, and storing recorded materials that are available to local people.

  • Trees for the Future, USA/Philippines — to support the School Gardens for Honduras Project, with funds to be used to produce 200 large packets containing a variety of tree, fruit and vegetable seeds, with each packet being planted near a different school on a land area of 1.8 acres of degraded and abandoned community land, therefore providing basic nutrition for school children as well as protecting against erosion and restoring the land.

  • Umoja Wa Kienjero Self Help Group, Kenya (Land and General Funds) — to acquire legal title to critically important land at Njurui Springs, which is the sole source of domestic, livestock and agricultural water for this indigenous community of 45 households, with funds used also for fencing to protect the spring, tree planting and conservation protection of this land.

  • White Earth Land Recovery Project, USA (Land Fund) — to help pay the remaining debt on a 50 acre land parcel that includes forest, wetland and lakeshore and which is used as a gathering spot for spiritual and cultural ceremonies on Minnesota’s White Earth Indian Reservation.

  • Wild Flora and Fauna Fund / FWFF, Bulgaria — to purchase ten donkeys to be established as a small breeding flock and a free-ranging population in Kotel Mountain, Bulgaria, that will be used for maintenance of the mountain pastures in the Yurushki Shali Protected area, as well as to bring baggage and provisions for shepherds.

Cottonwood Foundation in your estate planning

A planned gift to Cottonwood Foundation allows you to continue to support Cottonwood Foundation’s work for a sustainable future as part of your legacy to the world. As each state has its own set of requirements and formalities, to ensure that your planned gift has been properly made, please consult with your attorney or other professional advisor. Generally you can use these words to make a bequest through your will or trust:

I give, devise, and bequeath to Cottonwood Foundation, federal tax identification number 41-1714008, P.O. Box 10803, White Bear Lake, MN 55110,
the sum of $_______ (or describe the real or personal property or portion of the estate) to be used for its general purposes.

For more information about including Cottonwood Foundation in your estate plan, please contact us at or (651) 426-8797.

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 405 grants totaling more than $372,000. 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, Treasurer
Jamie Ford
Karissa Huntington, Chair
Prabhakar Karri
Kathy Kinzig
Tom Meersman
Craig R. Miller, Vice Chair
Paul Moss, Executive Director
Erik Nelson, Secretary
Joel Peterson
Caleb Werth

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

Below are some representative excerpts of communications recently received from Cottonwood Foundation grant recipients. See how your contributions to Cottonwood Foundation are making a difference!

Eco-garden, Kenya

“In the process of working with community groups in the field of sustainable use and management of natural resource, Bee-keeping was a project of Eco-garden that targeting five community groups of farmers. The whole work was a success and Eco-garden thanks Cottonwood foundation for having made this possible.

The funds from Cottonwood foundation was used to purchase twenty five hives for the following five groups, Bisitati farmers, Karaus Self Help, Tamukeka Bee keeping group, Ainesti farmers group, Kesogon Maendeleo group and Aruba Self Help group. The main topics covered during the trainings sessions included the following: 1. Apiary Management; 2. Bee colony structure; 3. Feeding and supporting bees during dry season; 4. Safety measures from hostile bees; 5. Honey harvesting and wax extraction; 6. Benefits of bees as crop pollinator.

African bees are hostile and can be very aggressive to animals as well as people. Therefore safety measures were taken into consideration to reduce risks of Bees attacks. Apiaries were located away from animals, children reach and homes, the sites were carefully fenced for maximum protection. All the five groups received two pairs of honey harvesting suits and apparatus, which provided safety during hive inspection as well as harvesting.

This project will act as a model for other community members to take a challenge to replicate it on their on in a spiral manner. Indeed it is very impressive how small amount of money can create a big change or difference.”

New Forests Project, USA/Central America

“The New Forests Project is pleased to inform the Cottonwood Foundation of the progress it has made as a result of the $1,000 grant received in April of 2006. Since June 1, 2006, the New Forests Project has provided 10 water chlorinators to the Honduran and Salvadorian Association of Community Water Boards (AHJASA and ASSA), and 3 trial chlorinators to grassroots groups in Nicaragua and Guatemala. As of April of 2006 our partner in Honduras, AHJASA, had received eight NORWECO 500 chlorinators and four NORWECO 2000 chlorinators, ready for installation. According to the last report received from AHJASA on August 29, 2006, AHJASA was prepared to install these chlorinators in the communities of Las Mangas, El Escano, Buena Vista Garao, Ireneo, El Coco, Col Panama, Danli and El Progreso. The smallest of these communities (Colonia Panama) has 570 residents while the largest (Ireneo) has 1,450. In total, these installations will improve the drinking water of more than 5,000 rural community members!

Any left over funds received from the Cottonwood Foundation have gone towards the training of community water boards in Honduras and El Salvador. The training of community operators or plumbers is usually provided by the Circuit Rider and trains board members in crucial aspects of maintaining a water system such as monitoring and evaluation, administration and technical skills.We thank you for your tremendous support of our expanding project in Central America and will be happy to supply any additional information at your request!”

Maka Foundation, USA

“The Cottonwood Foundation grant is allowing the Maka Foundation to assist the
Lower Brule Sioux Tribe in reconsolidating their landbase on this rural reservation in central South Dakota. Illegal federal actions of the past century and a half have greatly reduced the amount of Tribal land available to Native American Tribal
members even within the reservation itself. Through the efforts of the Maka
Foundation, with support of partners such as the Cottonwood Foundation, the Tribal landbase is being repurchased from willing sellers on the reservation. Once purchased the land is restored to the benefit of both the environment and the people of the reservation.

For instance, this year’s Cottonwood Foundation grant assists in the purchase of a land tract that will further the Tribe’s ongoing reintroduction of the swift fox and black-footed ferrets. The return of these animals is very exciting. It has a great ecological and cultural impact, as well as providing economic benefit by creating biological technician positions to monitor the program. Attached is a photo of Tribal member and Maka Foundation Board member Shaun Grassel, along with a local Tribal youth, releasing a black-footed ferret.”


Cottonwood Foundation Contributors Update
Laurie Gustafson, Editor

Paul Moss, Executive Director

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