Community Foundation renews CHiRP grant 

Habitat mapping project will continue to ad layers of information

The Community Habitat Resources Project (CHiRP) is receiving a $39,000 shot in the arm.

The Community Foundation of Whistler announced the grant this week. The grant includes more than $21,000 from Community Foundations of Canada Environmental Philanthropy Program. The money has been allocated allocated to CHiRP to continue building a central online repository for habitat information.

Christine Buttkus, executive director of the CFOW, is enthusiastic about CHiRP’s potential.

"The mapping project allows information that’s been inaccessible to groups and individuals in the community to now be widely accessible. It allows for shared planning between environmental groups," she explains.

Buttkus is also optimistic that developers will use the site to help make better-informed decisions regarding environmental impact of proposed developments.

This new funding follows up on the initial CFOW grant of $63,250 awarded CHiRP last year and will help to cover technical and staffing costs.

"It will contribute to some degree to some of the costs to prepare data to get onto the Web site," Buttkus says.

Effective data preparation and collection is crucial to CHiRP meeting its objectives.

Comprised of 11 community stakeholders with the shared goal of habitat preservation, CHiRP is now entering its second phase of development – the first was launching the Web site ( at the end of May – the group is actively continuing to collect habitat information. CHiRP plans to display a variety of information from its stakeholder groups including wetland plantings location, wildlife habitats, points of historical and cultural interest as well as municipal maps detailing land use and ownership.

Since its inception in 1999, the CFOW has granted more than $193,400 to environmental projects in Whistler. Funding for environmental initiatives represents over 87% of grants made by the foundation.


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