The Two Rivers Giving Circle—named for the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers—is one of the few funders in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia that provides grants to support natural resources conservation and historic preservation programs and projects. Each member of the Giving Circle makes a tax-deductible donation of $500 or more to the Community Foundation annually. During the past ten years, grants totaling more than $73,000 have been awarded by the Two Rivers Giving Circle Fund to a wide variety of such causes in our community.
Programs and projects that are eligible for funding include:
Safeguarding Habitat: Protection of habitat is critical to the preservation of biodiversity. Focus is placed on buffer zones, wildlife areas, watersheds, and functioning ecosystems.
Children and Nature: Education and involvement of the next generation is extremely important. Programs that address youth activism, knowledge, hands-on activity, and physical movement.
Saving Panhandle Treasures: We all have a deep caring for our countryside and heritage. Initiatives that provide increased protection of historic, cultural, and pastoral places in the Panhandle.
Waste and Recycling: Efforts that catalyze underserved recycling efforts, promote effective household waste treatment and deter non-point source pollution in the Panhandle.
Energy Conservation: Initiatives that promote increasing energy conservation and decreasing consumption behaviors in our Panhandle community.
Growing the Movement: Programs that engage, organize, and empower new constituencies who add to the advancement of programs through volunteerism and leadership that lead to new ways of thinking and acting.
The Two Rivers Giving Circle brings together committed, concerned and charitably minded citizens to focus on local natural resources conservation and historic preservation in Jefferson, Berkeley and Morgan counties. By pooling their time, talent and resources, members of the Giving Circle are able to have a much greater impact on the causes that matter to them. Members of the Giving Circle meet four times per year; first in early spring when the group decides who will be honored with the Conservation/Preservation Award for the year, then in the summer for the Two Rivers Giving Circle picnic when the award is presented. Nonprofit organizations and local schools submit grant applications to the Community Foundation throughout the spring and summer. In the early fall, members of the Giving Circle meet twice to review applications, discuss the proposed projects, research the applicant agencies, and recommend grants.
We hope you will consider becoming a member of the Two Rivers Giving Circle. To join, simply download our membership flyer, fill out the form and mail a $500 check, payable to the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation (EWVCF) to 229 E. Martin Street, Suite 4, Martinsburg, WV 25401. Write “Two Rivers Giving Circle Membership” on the memo line and include your contact information, name, phone number, and email address; so we can keep you updated on the meeting schedule.
Membership is open to anyone interested in supporting natural resource conservation and historic preservation efforts, by awarding grants, recognizing leaders in the movement, and educating residents about the importance of nature, energy conservation, and much more.
Previous Years’ Grants
Grants totaling more than $73,000 have been awarded by the Two Rivers Giving Circle since its inception in 2008. To support the grantmaking, members of the giving circle each contribute at least $500 annually. Twenty percent of the annual gift is dedicated to building an endowment at the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation. During the past eleven years, the Two Rivers Giving Circle Fund has grown to just over $43,000. A list of grants that have been funded follows:
$1,000 – Martinsburg High School to assist teacher Derek Gallagher build a raised garden.
$1,200 – Driswood Elementary for Potomac Valley Audubon Society programming.
$1,500 – Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission for WVGeoExplorer Project.
$500 – Warm Springs Watershed Association as recommended by Betty Lou Harmison.
$500 – The Museum of the Berkeley Springs as recommended by Betty Lou Harmison
$2,000 – Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission for stabilization of the historic Cement Mill Site.
$1,300 – Potomac Riverkeeper Network for North Mountain Stormwater Assessment in Berkeley County near Gerrardstown.
$1,500 – Potomac Valley Audubon Society for assistance with signage and marketing the new Cool Spring Preserve property in south Jefferson County.
$1,220 – Spring Mills Middle School for an environmentally friendly water bottle refill system with a water cooler and reusable water bottles.
$ 850 – Wind Dance Farm & Earth Education Center for field trip bus transportation to the Morgan County environmental education facility.
$2,500 – Berkeley County Historical Society for an archive computer, supplies and other equipment.
$1,675 – Cacapon Institute for Potomac Headwaters Leaders of Watersheds (PHLOW) – conservation, education, and tree planting program in the Eastern Panhandle.
$2,000 – Historic Shepherdstown Commission for continued repairs to the stone walls at the Shepherd Family Graveyard.
$2,000 – Jefferson County Black Historic Preservation Society to cover partial expenses to install a backyard garden and brick patio at the historic Webb-Blessing house.
$1,500 – Historic Shepherdstown Commission for Graveyard stone wall repairs
$2,100 – Jefferson County Black History Preservation Society Webb Blessing House Interpretation
$ 500 – Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission digitizing GeoExplorer project
$1,000 – North American Bushcraft School to help toward the construction of an Outdoor Classroom
$1,500 – Potomac Valley Audubon Society Stauffer’s Marsh wetlands education for students
$1,500 – Town of Bath StreetScapes Green Infrastructure construction on Washington Street
$ 900 – Wind Dance Farm & Earth Education for three bus field trips to the facility
$3,000 — CraftWorks at Cool Spring for establishing a roughly six-acre native grassland bird habitat
$360 — Eastern Panhandle Free Clinic for drug disposal boxes to keep old drugs out of the watershed
$1,000 — Shepherd University for restoration of windows (and workshop) in historic property on campus
$3,000 — Warm Springs Watershed Assoc. for installing kiosks in wetlands near Berkeley Springs High School
$3,488.23 — Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission to support digitizing materials for historic preservation.
$1,192 — Jefferson County Museum to support a new project called “History à la carte” to promote children’s interest in history.
$1,000 — Morgan Arts Council to support “Water, Ecology, and Nature” artist program for schools and summer camp.
$1,000 — Martinsburg Library to support “This Land is Your Land”, an environmental awaremess program for children.
$1,000 — Potomac Valley Audubon Society to support design, purchase, and installation of interpretive signs for Stauffer’s Marsh.
$360 — Charles Town Health Right, Inc. to support a safe drug disposal program.
$1,694.85 — Shepherd University and its Historic Preservation Program to sponsor hand-on experiential learning for students in restoration of area historic graves and graveyards.
$2,500 — Potomac Valley Audubon Society to seed a “Wee Naturalist” conservation-education program offered in preschools in Jefferson and Berkeley Counties.
$2,500 — Morgan County Solid Waste Authority to offset costs for glass recycling in that county.
$2,500 — Berkeley County Historical Society to purchase storage units for historic documents.
$2,000 — Shepherd University in partnership with Shepherdstown Elementary School to develop a two-day scavenger hunt for fifth-graders. The program integrates photography with local architecture, natural sites and historic places in the Shepherdstown area.
$993.95 — Warm Springs Watershed Association based in Berkeley Springs to design, print and distribute a new informational brochure about local watershed importance and protection.
$2,000 — Craftworks at Cool Spring to launch a citizen-based invasive species education and management program in Jefferson County.
$500 — Friends Wilderness Center to offset costs for materials for repair and renovation of a tree house retreat center.
$2,000 — Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission to purchase a computer server for the GeoExplorer project to enable local citizens online access to historic records.
$1,500 — Potomac Valley Audubon Society to seed a new in-school environmental education program for 2nd graders in select area schools.
$1,500 — Berkeley Springs High School AP Environmental Science Class to establish a school-wide recycling program.
$1,500 — Martinsburg-Berkeley County Library to help support an after-school ecology club program in the children’s library.
$800 — American Conservation Film Festival to support a photographic safari for children at the group’s annual film festival.
$2,021.97 — Elks Run Study Committee to help build outreach and communication to local citizens regarding the importance of Elks Run Stream and its watershed.
$2,175 — Morgan County Solid Waste Authority to assist with the purchase of equipment to open and operate a permanent recycling center to serve Morgan County.
$2,125 — Potomac Valley Audubon Society to help develop and offer a new pre-school program at the Yankauer Nature Preserve.
Two Rivers photo: Dean @ the Bednbiskit