Tackling the Challenge
From the Winter 2018 Issue
LOR Foundation provides resources to improve community
LOR is an innovative philanthropic foundation that works with rural communities in the Intermountain West—including Sandpoint—to enhance livability and quality of life. Established by Amy Wyss and Ed Jaramillo in 2007, their vision continues to emphasize community-driven efforts that preserve and enhance local characteristics and shape public access in the surrounding landscape. They endeavor to be a regional resource that facilitates solutions to challenges in communities faced with growth, a changing economy and demographic shifts. LOR, headquartered in Jackson, Wyoming, believes that success is built on collaboration.
LOR stands for Livability, Opportunity, and Responsibility.
LOR has been active in the area since 2012 and recently established an office in Sandpoint with the hiring of Jeremy Grimm. If his name is familiar, it’s probably because he was the Sandpoint planning and community development director for eight years (2007-’15) and, most recently, the director of public relations and communications at Kochava. Jeremy understands the pulse of Sandpoint, Ponderay and the surrounding area. “At LOR, we recognize that rural places play a critically important part in the health of America. Faced with unique challenges, we believe that small, rural communities ought to have the resources, tools and support they need to create thriving, beautiful places to live, and that a philanthropic force can be a catalyst for self-determined, community-led solutions to problems that mutually support social, economic and environmental wellbeing.”
LOR focuses on individual and community health by encouraging people to get outside and enjoy nature. By protecting traditional access to amenities, including clean water, and connecting neighbors, they help maintain the qualities that have historically enriched and made small town life in the West so great.
This year LOR has provided grants to Pend Oreille Pedalers for trail work, the city of Ponderay for trail easements and development of pathways, the city of Sandpoint for Farmin’s Landing stormwater and waterfront design efforts, and to Friends of the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail for support of Ponderay Neighbor Day as well as investigating ways to connect Ponderay to the bay trail under the railroad tracks.
LOR has provided grant support for a wide variety of past projects including $600,000 for the acquisition of the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail, funds for the 14,000-acre Clagstone Meadows conservation easement, and a substantial $600,000 Lead Grant (which helped secure further grants and donor contributions) to Kaniksu Land Trust to jump-start a fundraising campaign to acquire 160 acres (Pine Street Woods) for a community forest—just to name a few.
LOR is considering a number of other community-identified needs and projects and is always interested in helping facilitate community-driven solutions.
Grimm has no doubt “that as a community, with the resources and commitment LOR has made to the area, we can tackle many of our most challenging issues to ensure that the livability and quality of life offered here does not become a relic of the past.”