CHICO –The Butte Strong Fund has awarded 10 grants totaling $460,000 for organizations working on community development projects in the Camp Fire burn area.
The North Valley Community Foundation, the Aaron Rodgers NorCal Fire Recovery Fund and Sierra Nevada are the organizations involved with Butte Strong Fund.
David Little, executive vice president for communications for North Valley Community Foundation, said that these grants help people jump start the process of getting multi-million dollar grants going.
“It helps with the much bigger picture for programs they are trying to get off the ground,” Little said.
The grants, between $25,000 and $50,000 apiece, are designed to augment efforts to help build or rebuild community landmarks and gathering places. The grants will boost such venues as the Honey Run Covered Bridge, Paradise Performing Arts Center, Paradise Community Center, Concow Pool and the Paradise library, according to a press release.
“The Paradise Community Center is a multi-million dollar project and will help them draw the plans and start the fundraising project,” Little said. “The Performing Arts Center has a building that is aging. There needs to be significant work on stage lighting and water intrusion.”
Little said everyone on his staff has a favorite project, and his vote is just one of the many. The project near and dear to his heart is the Honey Run Covered Bridge, which burned down in the Camp Fire. Little said that his grandparents lived in Butte Creek Canyon and when he was growing up he loved to float on an inner tube from the steel bridge to the covered bridge. He said the bridge is being worked on and will continue to be for two to three years more.
“It’s nice to be a part of community landmark projects,” Little said. “We wanted to help where we could.”
Little said he went to see the Honey Run Covered Bridge and was sad to see it melted and laying in the creek.
“One fire just took it out,” Little said.
Little said the North Valley Community Foundation has and continues to help fire survivors.
“We will continue to do a lot of housing and direct assistance for fire survivors and community developing housing and assistance for Camp Fire survivors. We are looking for people that fell through the cracks and didn’t get enough help from insurance. We’re always looking to help those kinds of people,” Little said. “Everything is done through donations. We could not do this unless people were donating these funds to help others.”
In October and November, the Butte Strong Fund accepted applications for the community development projects, then approved the grants this month. In the guidelines, the Butte Strong Fund said partnerships are vital and it would prioritize organizations with multiple sources of funding and those projects that have a strong chance of success, according to the press release.
North Valley Community Foundation has now awarded $47,597,160 for community recovery since the Camp Fire, which took place Nov. 8, 2018.
Learn more about Butte Strong Fund projects that have been approved and how to donate at https://www.nvcf.org/buttestrongfund.