News Releases

FRF Awards $275,000 in Environment Grant Cycle




December 15, 2014

Media Contacts:

Hugh J. Ralston, President & CEO; [email protected]; 559-226-5600 x101

Kelvin F. Alfaro, Program Officer; [email protected]; 559-226-5600 x 105


Fresno Regional Foundation awards $275,000 to Environmental Causes in the Central San Joaquin Valley – Smart Growth and San Joaquin River Restoration/Grants distributed on December 16th

Fresno, CA – Fresno Regional Foundation (FRF) serves a region rich in natural resources and human capital. The region is a place where agricultural production, air and water quality, and land use shape the health of our people and communities.  

In 2014 the Foundation invested $225,000 for Smart Growth programs to help advance and support public health, social equity, environmental sustainability, and economic growth. An additional $50,000 was earmarked for restoration efforts of the San Joaquin River thanks to a bequest gift from Central Valley businessman Edward (Ted) K. Martin.  The Foundation received 25 proposals for this cycle, with requests totaling over $799,000.

The FRF Board of Directors has approved eight grants totaling $275,000 in support of Smart Growth and San Joaquin River Restoration activities in the Central Valley. On Tuesday, December 16 at 4:00 p.m. these eight organizations will share about their funded programs and will be recognized with an environment grant award. This presentation will take place at Bitwise Industries, 2210 San Joaquin St., Fresno, CA 93721.

“As part of our annual competitive grantmaking, these grants demonstrate the Foundation’s commitment to a process that identifies local projects that can make a difference all across our region,” noted President & CEO Hugh Ralston.  “The Foundation has focused its competitive grants in a number of key areas, including helping families with children 0-8, reducing teen pregnancy, strengthening local nonprofits and expanding capacity for human services, arts and youth organizations.   We believe these philanthropic investments in local agencies will further the mission of the foundation to strengthen the future of our region.   We are proud to work with our funding partners, donors and others interested in making these investments, and in continuing the heartfelt work of generous philanthropists such as Ted Martin.”

2014 Grants include:

San Joaquin River Restoration Projects

  • San Joaquin River Stewardship Program, Inc. - San Joaquin River Restoration Summer Youth Program - $50,000.00: A project designed for youth from disadvantaged communities to participate in River Restoration activities including river cleanup, invasive plant removal, and hatchery projects.


Smart Growth Projects:


  • Food Commons Fresno Trust - Smart Food for Smart Growth - $50,000: A project to support smart growth in Fresno through healthy, sustainable local food system development. It will: 1) deploy mobile markets in food deserts; 2) curb sprawl and preserve farmland for local food production at the urban edge; and 3) direct community investment into smart local food enterprises.


  • Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability - Building Momentum, Building Community Strength, Building a Sustainable Region - $50,000: A project to identify, prioritize and fund strategic smart growth investments in low income urban and rural communities through cross sector collaboration, residents participation, and collaboration with government.


  • Office of Community and Economic Development - StreetsAlive: a Walking and Bicycling Audit Program - $39,880: A project to support rural cities in thinking about Smart Growth by engaging residents and government officials to develop a Walking and Bicycling Audit Program (StreetsAlive), to promote and support walkable and bicycle-friendly communities in Avenal, Dos Palos, Mendota, Orange Cove and San Joaquin.


  • Community Water Center - Fostering smart growth by advancing water solutions for disadvantaged communities - $25,000: A project to engage residents and government officials to advance disadvantaged community water solutions in the Tulare Lake Basin region by coordinating and convening stakeholder groups focused on disadvantaged community water solutions in the Tulare Lake Basin.


  • Fresno Metro Ministry - Blackstone Corridor ‘Smart Mobility’ Design and Constituency Development in Fresno - $25,000: A project to build new diverse cross-sector constituencies of informed residents, businesses, and institutional leaders for achieving integrated in-fill, economic development, and revitalized healthy neighborhoods along the Blackstone Corridor in Fresno to prepare this key corridor for Bus Rapid Transit.


  • Madera Coalition for Community Justice- Public Transit and Open Space - $20,120: A pilot project to build capacity in Madera County to build awareness, education, and engagement for underserved populations. It will help establish an organizational framework that promotes a healthy community based on Smart Growth driven strategies to create a safe and sustainable environment to ensure efficient development patterns, economic and social vitality, and basic needs for all.


  • Tulare Basin Wildlife Partners - Education and Advocacy for Resource Sustainability in the Tulare Basin - $15,000: A project to conduct outreach, education, and advocacy to raise awareness and build consensus for sustainable natural resource planning strategies and smart growth principles in Fresno, Kings, and Tulare Counties.


Funding for the San Joaquin River Restoration was made possible by Ted Martin. Martin passed away in March of 2013, but through Ted Martin’s Legacy Funds at the Foundation, his philanthropic legacy and passion for the San Joaquin River will benefit the community for generations to come.


Funding for 2014 Smart Growth programs was made available from the following funds at the Foundation: Louis Gundelfinger Memorial Fund, Bee Endowment Fund and the FRF’s Board Fund’s for the Common Good.


About the Fresno Regional Foundation

Founded in 1966, FRF improves the quality of life in the San Joaquin Valley through philanthropy. It serves Fresno, Madera, Merced, Mariposa, Tulare and Kings Counties.


FRF is the trusted link between donors and organizations investing in permanent, high-impact initiatives for the San Joaquin Valley. The Foundation holds assets of over $62 million and awarded $1.6 million in competitive grants, and over $8 million in total grants in 2014.


For more information about the Fresno Regional Foundation, please visit or call 559-226-5600.



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