The California Alpine Club Foundation

Local Foundation Makes a Difference

The California Alpine Club Foundation gives small grants annually to organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area and around Lake Tahoe (where the Club’s Echo Summit Lodge is located) that support conservation and environmental education endeavors. Established with an endowment from late Club member Henry Hillman of San Francisco, the California Alpine Club Foundation was incorporated as a State of California 501(c)(3) non-profit in 2004, and relies on CAC member donations to supplement the endowment’s interest. All donations to the California Alpine Club Foundation are fully tax-deductible. If you would like to make a donation, please contact any CAC Foundation board member by sending an email to You may also send checks payable to CACF, to California Alpine Club Foundation, P.O. Box 2180, Mill Valley, CA 94942.

CACF FUNdraising is Fun

We hold two fundraising every year.  In the spring, members Karen and Jerry Wagner host a Birding and Conservation week at the Echo Summit Lodge, proceeds of which go to the Foundation. In the fall, we host an afternoon benefit with live music, food and wine at the Alpine Lodge, again with all proceeds going to the Foundation.

While donations to CAC’s California Alpine Club Foundation—a 501(c)(3)—are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law, the California Alpine Club—a 501(c)(7) non-profit—also gladly accepts donations that apply directly to the Club’s operating budget and are not tax-deductible.

Meaningful Results

In 2013, the Point Reyes National Seashore Association once again received a CACF grant for tarp shelters for the children’s summer camp program.
In 2013, the Point Reyes National Seashore Association once again received a CACF grant for tarp shelters for the children’s summer camp program.

CAC member Arlin Weinberger of San Rafael has served as CACF Board President since 2008, along with up to five other Club members. Together, the Board considers grant nominations and determines CACF awards throughout the year. Any Club member can make nominations to the Board by contacting any CACF board member.

Pantoll & Bootjack Campground Hosts on Mt. Tam

The CAC Foundation usually gives small grants (up to $2000), yet we made an exception in 2012 and awarded $10,000 to help Mount Tamalpais State Park establish a host campsite (for an RV) near the Pantoll Ranger Station on Mt. Tamalpais. CACF paid for the water, electricity and sewer connections so that on-site campground host may help campers, sell firewood, and collect fees at this popular destination. After more than four decades, fifteen historic campsites were re-opened at Bootjack Campground in October 2013, so on-site host services are especially important.

CACF Awards Nine Grants in 2013

The California Alpine Club turned 100 years old in 2013! In our centennial year, the CAC Foundation awarded nine grants totaling $15,300 to local organizations in the San Francisco Bay and the Lake Tahoe areas. These grants went to:

1. Tahoe Institute for Natural Science for three bird-banding trips for local school children. 2. Tahoe Rim Association for trail signs, gloves and hard hats for volunteers, and to offset first aid training fees. 3. Pacific Crest Trail Association to help support a three-day volunteer training event (meals, facility rental, printed materials). 4. Eldorado National Forest Interpretive Association for a Junior Ranger Program. 5. Point Reyes National Seashore Association for six large tarp shelters for summer camp. 6. Marin Audubon Society for a power wagon (motorized hand cart) for hauling water to habitat restoration sites. 7. Friends of Corte Madera Creek Watershed for removal of eucalyptus trees. 8. Slide Ranch for 25 low-income students to participate in Slide Ranch’s environmental education programs. 9. San Bruno Mountain Watch for the Adaptive Management Research project at the Native Plant Nursery.

CACF Awards Eight Grants in 2014

1. Pacific Crest Trail Association:  To support a three-day training session on trail maintenance. 2. Tahoe Rim Trail Association: To support volunteer workdays with tools and equipment. 3. Eldorado National Forest Interpretative Association: Funds for tools and training for two trail crews. 4. Tahoe Institute for Natural Science: To purchase 35 pairs of snowshoes for outdoor education programs. 5. Slide Ranch: To bring 25 children to the ranch to hike, explore, plant and harvest food. 6. Pt. Reyes National Seashore Association: To supply tarp shelters for the children’s summer camp program. 7. Friends of Corte Madera Creek Watershed: To purchase plants and supplies for its habitat restoration project with White Hill Middle School. 8. Marin Audubon Society: Donation towards the purchase of wetlands adjacent to the Corte Madera Ecological Preserve.

CACF Awards Eight Grants in 2015

1.Tahoe Rim Trail Association: To support youth backcountry camps this summer for kids 12 to 17. 2.Eldorado National Forest Interpretive Association: To purchase three backpacks loaded withbackcountry emergency supplies and for trail maintenance supplies for Desolation Wilderness volunteers. 3.Pacific Crest Trail Association: To contribute to the Tahoe Trail Skills College, the three-day training for 40 to 50 volunteers, helping with the cost of meals, kitchen supplies, printed materials. 4.Tahoe Institute for Natural Science: To print materials for natural history field trips for local schools and purchase related items. 5.Pt. Reyes National Seashore Association: For youth backpacks and backpacking stoves to be used in five Summer Camp programs. 6.Friends of Corte Madera Creek Watershed: To pay for tree removal and a replanting project with White Hill Middle school.7 Slide Ranch: To enable a class of 25 children to participate in environmental programs. 8.Marin Audubon Society: To purchase over 500 plants to restore tidal marsh lands next to the Corte Madera Ecological Reserve.

CACF Awards Eight Grants in 2016

1. Pt Reyes National Seashore Association: $2000 for outdoor clothing for scholarship students on overnight backpacking trips. 2. West Point Inn: $1500 for weather station on Mt Tamalpais. 3. Slide Ranch: $2000 to enable a class of 25 to participate in environmental education programs. 4.Tahoe Rim Trail Association: $2000 to purchase 20 trail and bike counters. 5. Eldorado National Forest Interpretive Association: $1500 for visitor information projects. 6. Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation $1200 for all-terrain heavy-duty tires for the vehicle used in trail restoration projects. 7. Pacific Crest Trail Association: $2000 to support the three-day Tahoe Trail Skills College. 8.Tahoe Institute for Natural Science: $1500 for snowshoes to be used on school outdoor education field trips.

Making Connections, Building Our Future

The California Alpine Club Foundation is especially interested in outdoors-oriented education programs for children. An introduction to a wilderness opportunity can change a child’s life, and become a lifelong interest. Families that play together, stay together … and we support educational and volunteer experiences for kids, and their families, that are proven, local to our membership community, and with goals that are amenable to the  California Alpine Club Purposes. To see a complete list of CACF grant recipients visit the CAC + CACF Affiliates page. Please support these venerable organizations and local conservation projects where you live. The future of outdoors California belongs to us!