Joan Burchell Fund

The 2020 grant cycle is open and the rfp can be found here:  Burchell 2020 applicationPLEASE NOTE that the 2020 application has been revised and expedited to address food security throughout the Gorge due to the current coronavirus epidemic.

PLEASE NOTE:   Grant recipients from 2019 who have not submitted grant reports will not be eligible to apply in 2020.

The following projects received funding in 2019:

  • The Next Door:  $1,500 for gardening supplies for the Raices Community Garden
  • CultureSeed:  $3,900 for Bending the Bars program at NORCOR
  • The Dalles Farmers Market:  $1,500 for Power of Produce program for kids
  • 3 Squares Program:  $2,000 for student meals during school breaks in Skamania County
  • Columbia Riverkeeper:  $1,400 for bilingual signs for Nicols Natural Area
  • Back Packs 4 Kids:  $1,400 for weekend snacks and farmers market vouchers for Klickitat County kids

The following projects received funding in 2018:

  • The Dalles Farmers Market: $2,500 to implement the SNAP assistance program for low-income families to purchase fresh food at the market
  • 3 Squares Program: $3,000 for weekend meals program for low-income children and teens in the Stevenson Carson School District
  • People for People: $1,500 for teleconferencing equipment for the Stevenson learning center to help clients obtain their GEDs and job training, and to conduct employment searches
  • Hood River Shelter Services: $2,550 for funding for the Laundry Love program to enable warming shelter guests to launder their clothes on a weekly basis
  • FISH Food Bank: $1,650 for summer meal program serving children on free and reduced lunch programs during the school year

The following projects received funding in 2017:T

  • Washington Gorge Actions Programs:  $3,000 for a portable aquaponics gardening system to grow fresh produce for Klickitat County food banks
  • Hood River Warming Shelter:  $1,500 for sleeping bags and cots
  • White Salmon Valley Education Foundation: $2,000 for a program to support healthy life skills
  • Rowena Wildlife Clinic:  $1,000 for care for native eagles
  • FISH:  $3,000 summer meals for underserved children
  • Gorge MakerSpace: $900 for tools and furnishings for new space

The following proposals received Joan Burchell grants in 2016:

  • Washington Gorge Actions Programs:  $1,500 for Tom’s Learning Garden
  • Columbia Gorge Habitat for Humanity:  $2,000 for community outreach and volunteer recruitment
  • CultureSeed:  $1,500 for nature activities for at risk youth
  • Rowena Wildlife Clinic:  $1,000 for food for raptors
  • Hood River Warming Shelter:  $1,200 for site usage fees
  • HAVEN:  $1,433 for Healthy Teen  Relationship Summit
  • Oregon Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation:  $1,433 for children’s vision screening events
  • Radio Tierra:  $1,433 for equipment for expanding to the Hood River Upper Valley


Joan’s Bio

Joan Burchell’s life journey began in Manhattan, N.Y., April 25, 1923, and what a journey it was.

Joan grew up in Chappaqua, N.Y., as a proper lady; exposed to opera, social etiquette, art; all while being the “tomboy” who sledded the fastest down the steepest hills.

As a young woman, she defied tradition, moving to Venezuela to work as a decorator and furniture designer. She traveled extensively in South and Central America, mostly alone, in her Karmann Ghia.

With a third revolution brewing, Joan decided it was time to leave Venezuela. She lived for a time in Scotland, then moved back home to Chappaqua, working for Reader’s Digest until retirement.

During those years, she was an avid swimmer and kayaker. She kayaked and camped, alone, along the Danube River, and traveled extensively in Europe.

After retirement, Joan decided that Chappaqua had become too urban, and traveled the country looking for a suitable home. The fact that she found, and chose, the community of Mt. Hood, attests to her good judgment. She lived there for 20 years.

Joan loved the community, and the community loved her. She was self-educated, mechanically clever and artistic. Her spirit, humor, independence, and interest in all things endeared her to many people. Joan is a true example of living life on one’s own terms.

She passed away peacefully, with friends at her side, on Dec. 14, 2008.