Photo: Bill Stransky

Grantmaking Priorities (updated)

Our founders laid out the following as the Foundation’s five areas of focus, which have guided us since its inception:

  1. Preservation, conservation and defense of natural resources
  2. Establishment, conservation and preservation of public parks and open spaces
  3. Care facilities for domestic and wild animals
  4. Educational efforts to promote environmental literacy
  5. Efforts to advance family planning and ensure reproductive rights

We work to interpret our founders’ intent within the context of the present day, adapting as conditions change and circumstances warrant. See below for our current interpretations and priorities, which will continue to evolve over time.

We are primarily interested in making investments that benefit one or more of the following geographic regions: greater Houston, central Texas and southwestern Colorado, as well as efforts of statewide significance in Texas.

We provide different types of support, including operating, project and capital grants, and are open to providing operating and project grants for terms of up to two years at a time.

Natural Resources Conservation

The natural environment is an interconnected system that is essential to the lives and well-being of people and wildlife. Key threats in our region include the pace and scale of new development, an expanding industrial footprint and continued reliance on gray infrastructure, all with few regulatory safeguards, contributing to climate change, biodiversity loss, urban flooding, inadequate water supply, and air and water pollution. Communities of color and those with low incomes are disproportionately burdened by these environmental harms.

The Foundation invests in efforts to mitigate climate change and reduce harmful emissions; protect and steward land and water resources; and improve habitat and recover species of concern. The Foundation supports advocacy initiatives, community organizing, legal strategies and on-the-ground conservation, and values work that centers the vision and voices of those most impacted.

Parks and Open Space

Parks, trails and open spaces provide places for children, families and communities to connect with nature and each other. Parks provide opportunities for physical activity, support mental well-being and allow people to gain appreciation for the natural world. However, many residents within the Foundation’s geographies of interest do not live within the recommended 10-minute walk of a park, and there are disparities in the quality of local parks across communities.

The Foundation invests in efforts to develop and improve community parks and trail networks in central Texas, greater Houston and southwestern Colorado. The Foundation values park initiatives that benefit neighborhoods with a history of disinvestment, as well as efforts that engage residents in their design and implementation.

Animal Care Facilities

To maintain a healthy ecological balance, it is vital that we protect and care for animals, both domestic and wild. However, the built environment and human activity present hazards to wildlife within the Foundation’s geographic areas of interest, and challenges related to stray dogs and cats, animal cruelty and responsible pet ownership are pervasive.

The Foundation invests in organizations within central Texas, greater Houston and southwestern Colorado that rehabilitate ill or injured wildlife, as well as open-intake facilities that provide comprehensive, low-cost services for domestic animals. In addition, the Foundation is interested in efforts to create a more coordinated and efficient system of animal care in our communities.

Environmental Literacy

Along with building critical thinking skills and improving academic achievement, environmental education enhances connections with nature and encourages future environmental stewardship. Ensuring that all children and youth have access to high-quality environmental education – particularly in the outdoors – will build knowledge, skills and motivation to tackle environmental challenges of today and tomorrow.

The Foundation invests in evidence-based environmental education programs, and values efforts that incorporate experiential learning, highlight local ecosystems, emphasize principles of environmental justice and are designed to benefit youth most burdened by lack of access to nature and other environmental harms. In addition, the Foundation is interested in efforts to disseminate high-quality, evidence-based environmental education curricula at scale within and across school districts.

Reproductive Rights

Unintended pregnancy, including teen pregnancy, is associated with a range of adverse outcomes for women and their families, as well as society at large. Comprehensive reproductive care helps prevent unintended pregnancies and births, while supporting the autonomy of women. However, access to the full spectrum of reproductive services is increasingly limited in the Foundation’s geographies of interest.

The Foundation invests in efforts to safeguard reproductive rights and support women in receiving the care they need. The Foundation supports advocacy initiatives, community organizing, legal strategies and supportive services, and values work that centers the vision and voices of women most burdened by restrictions on reproductive rights.

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