Luther (Lu) Winsor was a retired U.S. Park Service Manager/Ranger, appointed in 1996 by the Pierce County Council to serve on the Key Gig Harbor and the Islands (KGI) Watershed Planning Committee to help develop the KGI Watershed Plan.
Once the plan was adopted in 2000, Lu continued to serve on the newly formed KGI Watershed Council until his passing in 2003.
The Peninsula Light Company (PenLight) started the Lu Windsor Environmental Grant Program as an off shoot of their Green By Choice program in 2003. This program provided an opportunity for PenLight members to add green power to their fuel mixture. In return, PenLight provided $5,000 annually for the grant program. Pierce County Water Programs liked the idea and agreed to match the PenLight’s contribution. In 2014, the foundation joined in supporting the annual grant program with proceeds from the Cider Swig. Today, the program is administered by KGI Watershed Council together with Pierce County Water Programs and the Foundation who has provided a permanent home for the grant fund.
To follow the core purpose of the KGI Watershed Council and the Watershed Plan, with a focus on funding local environmental education and watershed protection projects.
Over the past 13 years, the Lu Winsor Environmental Grant program has awarded over $140,000 to 24 organizations. Funds have been particularly instrumental in setting the building blocks for local organization to develop environmental education programs such as the YMCA’s Camp Seymour and Harbor Wild Watch, which have received nearly half of the 108 Lu Winsor grants to date.
Over time, the funds available have grown and with increased support from its new partners. In 2005, $5,000 in grants were awarded. As of the 2017 cycle, $20,000 in grants were awarded to nine organizations, Peirce County Conservation District, and the Peninsula School District. The total grants requested during the 2017 cycle was double that at over $43,000 in the 2016 grant cycle.