Cottonwood Foundation Newsletter
Volume 14, No. 1  |   PDF version   |    Archives

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15 Years of Cottonwood

Table Of Contents
Cottonwood awards $45,000 in grants in 2007
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 2007

In September 2007, Cottonwood Foundation has awarded 22 grants of $1,000 each to grassroots organizations worldwide that are working for a sustainable future. Each of these grant recipients is a Cottonwood Partner.

Following is a listing of the 22 $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 support the Environmental Greenishing Group, a recently formed organization of youth in the Meru District of Kenya, for establishing tree nurseries for reforestation, conducting training for the community on environmental conservation, providing basic environmental education, facilitating the planting of trees from the nursery to identified areas, and other activities.

  • Benton Furniture Share, USA - to supply approximately 40 items of needed used furniture and household goods at no cost to low-income elderly individuals and households, primarily in Benton County, Oregon.

  • Blue Veins, Pakistan - to establish a computer literacy center in Dagai Village, Swabi District, Pakistan in cooperation with a local women's group, which will empower approximately 100 girls and women of this remote village with new skills, with funding to include purchase of a computer, printer, internet connection, and salary for a computer teacher.

  • Center for People's Agricultural Plan for the 21st Century, Philippines - to provide training on agro-forestry for 25 family-based organic farmers that will incorporate the preservation and protection of the local forest, including providing seeds of fruit and forest trees for community reforestation as well as purchasing equipment and materials needed for tree and vegetable seed storage using non-chemical pest control methods.

  • Centre for Indian Knowledge Systems, India - to help restore lands in the Nagapattinam District of Tamil Nadu, India that had been made saline through seawater intrusion in the December 2004 tsunami, by supporting training, seeds, and organic inputs to 100 farmer trainers who will in turn train several thousand local farmers and NGOs in organic cultivation of salt-tolerant indigenous varieties of rice, vegetables and other crops.

  • Centro de Educacion Creativa, Costa Rica - to purchase equipment, tools and safety materials to improve CEC's recently developed Biodiesel Project, which will help the students create recycled energy that not only fuels the school buses in Monteverde but also helps to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, including purchase of a plastic cone processor, heating pump, tubing and containers, tools, safety equipment, and other expenditures.

  • Cultural Survival, USA/Mongolia - to purchase a laptop computer for the Totem Peoples Project's Mongolian veterinary specialist, Ms. Nansalmaa Myagmar, that will be used to document reindeer and traditional livestock health, treatment history, disease incidence, ownership patterns, and other data relevant to the management and protection of the indigenous Dukha nomads of northern Mongolia.

  • Ecoclub Nongovernmental Youth Organization, Ukraine - for the project "The Green Spot in the Grey City" which will be conducted in Rivne, Ukraine to create a green area in the city for the benefit of city residents and the urban ecosystem with the involvement of volunteers and the local community, including purchase of saplings, soil mix, shovels, delivery of planting materials and stones, and other expenditures.

  • Interaccion para el Desarrollo Sostenible, Bolivia - to improve the life of children in the small, rural community of Chijmuni, Bolivia through purchase of building supplies to construct a needed sanitary facility for a primary school benefiting 60 children, planting 500 trees near the school, and conducting approximately six training courses on the environment for primary and secondary students as well as for teachers and parents.

  • International Association for Transformation, Canada/Philippines - to support the Summer Literacy and Tutoring Program in 5 remote villages in the Philippines in which approximately 30 senior students provide needed tutoring and educational upgrading for younger students for four to five weeks, with the Cottonwood grant providing food and accommodation for the student teachers, preparation, educational materials, supplies, transportation, monitoring and evaluation.

  • MADRE, USA/Nicaragua - to provide organic food crop seeds to 20 indigenous Miskito women and their families in Nicaragua in partnership with local partner organization Mangki Tangni, as well as facilitating the participation of several indigenous farmers in a farmers' market (including purchase of tables, transportation for farmers, and salary for coordinator).

  • Maka Foundation, USA (Land Fund) - to help purchase the 780 acre Medicine Butte Ranch within the Lower Brule Sioux Reservation that once was Indian-owned land but which had 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.

  • Mangrove Action Project, USA/Indonesia - to support construction of a Sustainable Agriculture and Environmental Education Center in Pakem District, Java, Indonesia, including purchase of a biogas converter, water pump, municipal electrical hook-up, vetiver grass nursery seed stock for revegetation, and seedlings for an herbal medicine garden.

  • Nabichakha Women Group, Kenya - to help address waterborne diseases in Bungoma District, Kenya by rebuilding a public toilet facility that had been destroyed during recent heavy rainfall and flooding, as well as to initiate a water and sanitation project that will involve training and community outreach through mass campaigns, brochures and pamphlets.

  • Norwalk/Nagarote Sister City Project, USA/Nicaragua - to provide scholarships in Nagarote, Nicaragua for 20 "Cottonwood Scholar" students from low-income families who are attending public schools, including covering their uniforms, shoes, books, school supplies and tutoring for one year.

  • Project Mercy, USA/Mexico - to construct a sturdy house from used garage doors as well as partially recycled and donated materials that will be used by a family in need of emergency housing in Mexico.

  • Rural 21, Moldova - to establish an Annual Winter School for Bike Mechanics using volunteer experts to train 30 bike owners in week-long courses as bicycle mechanics, and then to assist 10 of these mechanics to start their own bike shop businesses in their communities, including purchase of 5 bike mechanic stands, 5 bike wrench kits, and an electric compressor for inflating and painting.

  • Sanchuan Development Association, China - to purchase 450 books and transport them by wagon to each of two remote mountain village schools in Minhe County, Qinghai Province, which will allow the schools to have their own libraries, and will encourage education of ethnic minority children by allowing them access to books in addition to their textbooks.

  • Trees for the Future, USA/Cameroon - to support the Volunteer Group for Agro-Silvo-Pastoral Development (VOGASPAD) in Bamenda, Cameroon in providing training for farmers in tree nursery management, agroforestry and seedling transplantation, including purchasing wheel barrows, watering pipes, spades, pitchforks and over 30,000 tree seeds, with the goal of reestablishing vegetation that has been destroyed by logging and slash-and-burn farming techniques.

  • Umoja Wa Kienjero Self Help Group, Kenya - to establish an eco-seed bank multiplication project that will propagate and package certified seed spice and herbs, and also fruit orchard seedlings, including purchase of seeds, equipment, training, and materials.

  • White Earth Land Recovery Project, USA - to install a solar hot air heating panel on the home of a low-income tribal elder on Minnesota's White Earth Reservation, as well as to train four young people on the panel's installation.

  • Wild Flora and Fauna Fund / FWFF, Bulgaria - to rehabilitate and protect three small spring-fed sources of water in the Yurushki Skali protected area in Kotel Mountain that had been created in the 1950s but have subsequently silted in, for use by people, wildlife, livestock, and aquatic vegetation, with work done by local volunteers

Thanks again to Cottonwood's contributors and volunteers for your support! You are really making a difference in assisting grassroots organizations worldwide that are working for a sustainable future.

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 450 grants totaling over $417,000. 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
Jamie Ford, Secretary
Karissa Huntington, Chair
Prabhakar Karri, Treasurer
Kathy Kinzig
Tom Meersman
Craig Miller, Vice Chair
Paul Moss, Executive Director
Erik Nelson
Patrick Waletzko
Caleb Werthh

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

We thought that you might find of interest these excerpts from three final reports recently received for Cottonwood grants awarded in Spring 2007:

Safe water for a community in Bangladesh

"The Arsenic contamination in the water supply of Bangladesh is a real crisis. Bangladesh is facing the problem of arsenic poisoning in drinking water. Around 27% of the tubewells, which supply drinking water to most of the population, have arsenic concentrations above the government of Bangladesh limit of 50 Pg. per litre. This means that a quarter of the country's population is exposed to arsenic poisoning which is alarming and unprecedented in history.

Goriber Asroys working village Masdia, Kaligonj, is one of the badly arsenic contaminated village. With the help of Cottonwood Foundation and the DPHE [Department of Public Health Engineering] Goriber asroy successfully completed its Arsenic Mitigation projects at Masdia. Installation and assessment of safe water options was a major activity. The option promoted was Arsenic Iron Removing Plant (AIRP). 6 AIRP were installed at Masdia. [The photo above shows one of the AIRPs constructed.]

The people of the project areas were involved in implementing the project. In a village multiple meetings were held at different stages of the project to inform and involve the community. At these meetings the potential safe water option were discussed. Taking into account the opinion of the villagers, GA proceeded with the demonstration of different alternative safe water options with no cost to the community. The villagers decided where the community-based systems would be best located and then committed to maintaining the system.

Outcomes of the project:

•  72 Families [365 individuals] were get arsenic free drinking water.
•  5 Courtyard meetings were held at village level.
•  Arsenic Prevention Committee (APC) was formed by the open selected method.
•  2 Courses of training on Arsenic awareness and testing carried out.
•  Training Courses conducted for Arsenic Prevention Committee (APC) members
•  Community people’s behavior was changed gradually. Superstition about arsenic removed from the mind of the villagers.
•  Social Crisis related to the ARSENIC became solved.

Thank you for your continuous support to our project. The villagers of Masdia pay gratitude and homage to Cottonwood Foundation for saving their life from deadly poison Arsenic. Thank you for you kind cooperation."

-- from Goriber Asroy, Bangladesh

Vegetable growing by Nubian women in Uganda

"Please receive our final financial and narrative report for the grant we received in support of vegetable gardening among the Nubian Community and selected schools in Entebbe. This grant has indeed made a difference to the targeted groups.

We received a grant this year to purchase a variety of vegetable seeds, farm tools and organic pest control items for vegetable gardening in ten homesteads among the Nubian community (each with three or four families) and four primary schools in Entebbe, Uganda including providing training. The training was conducted by the Agriculture Extension office of Entebbe Municipal council (Ms. Angela Drania). She was also responsible for the purchase of the vegetable seeds as well as the pest control ingredients for the natural pesticides. The tools were procured by Ms. Nakku Christine Golola a Volunteer with Entebbe District Wildlife Association.

Thirty Nubian women and eight teachers, two from each of the four schools identified, attended the training bring the total number of trainees to 38 (thirty eight). The participants were given tools and vegetable seeds to establish nursery beds in the homesteads and the schools. The seedlings from the Central Nursery were distributed to the beneficiaries by the Local Council (LC1) Chairperson...

Project Output:

Type of Vegetable - Numbers planted

Cabbages - 5250
Spinach - 6700
Egg plants - 4360
Green pepper - 5765
Carrots - 16,280
Collards - 4320
Amaranthus ssp - 4620
Onions - 5620
Tomatoes - 1850

Assessment of Achievements

1. The Community have got access to fresh vegetables to supplement the diets of the Community and students.

2. Sell of surplus vegetables has created an income generating opportunity for the Nubian women.

3. Vegetable growing has helped the Nubian women diversify from the dominant weaving of crafts they are engaged in.

4. The beneficiaries learnt good vegetable growing methods.

There is a need to continue supporting the Nubian women. They showed a lot of enthusiasm during project implementation.

Please extend our appreciation to the members of the Board of Directors of the Cottonwood Foundation for their continued support in EDWA's activities."

-- from Entebbe District Wildlife Association (EDWA), Uganda

Reforestation in Ecuador

"Thank you to the Cottonwood Foundation from all of us at Planet Drum Foundation ( PDF) and in Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador for your 2007 grant of $1,000. It provided PDF with funds to continue our six kilometer long revegetation and restoration project and further stabilize the eroded hillsides that have posed an ongoing threat to the welfare and well-being of the residents of Bahia de Caraquez."

-- from Planet Drum Foundation, USA/Ecuador (see to learn more about Planet Drum Foundation's ongoing work in the Ecuadorian coastal city of Bahia de Caraquez, which has committed itself to become ecological and sustainable).




Cottonwood Foundation Contributors Update
Laurie Gustafson, Editor

Paul Moss, Executive Director

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