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 Winsor Environmental Grant Program as an offshoot 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 Greater Gig Harbor Foundation which has provided a permanent home for the grant program.
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 14 years, the Lu Winsor Environmental Grant program has awarded over $160,000 to 27 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 2018 cycle, $25,000 in grants were awarded to nine organizations, Pierce County Conservation District, and the Peninsula School District.
The deadline for the 2019 grant cycle is midnight March 31, 2019 .