2016 Grant Recipients

The 2016 grant cycle was kicked off with the first round of small grants distributed in March. Four organizations received funding to help them make in impact in the communities where HDR employees live and work.

Small grants are designated as between $5,000 and $15,000, and large grants are more than $15,000. Applications for the second round of 2016 small grants are due April 15 and applications for large grants are due Sep. 15. 

Small Grant Recipients


Cornbelt Diabetes Connection
Omaha, Nebraska

Cornbelt Diabetes Connection will use the HDR Foundation's $15,000 small grant to help purchase a new Mobile Diabetes Center, which is staffed by nurses and students from Nebraska Methodist College. The new Winnebago will help in providing alternative healthcare delivery methods to test people with diabetes or related complications. Targeted at people who cannot afford to see a physician for examination and testing, the Cornbelt Diabetes Connection is recognized as the only mobile diabetes screening service in the United States that is free to the public.

Nordic Journeys
Anchorage, Alaska

Nordic Journeys helps foster health and recreation for students across Alaska by encouraging them to be active in cross-country skiing. The HDR Foundation grant of $15,000 will be used to purchase skis, boots, bindings and poles for two schools in rural Alaska. The organization provides 20 to 50 sets of skis to each community it serves, most of which are made up of Native Alaskans. It uses volunteer coaches, who include Olympic skiers and elite high school coaches, to teach cross-country skiing, running and biathlon and encourage active lifestyles.

Kids Against Hunger
Omaha, Nebraska

During an HDR conference in October 2016, more than 500 HDR employees will spend two hours packaging 100,000 meals for Kids Against Hunger. The HDR Foundation has given a $12,500 small grant to Kids Against Hunger to fund half of the meals for the event. With 100,000 meals, 500 starving children from around the world will be provided food for six months. This conference will be one of the largest packaging events to date for the organization.

Apollo-Ridge Education Foundation
Spring Church, Pennsylvania

The $15,000 grant to the Apollo-Ridge Education Foundation will be used to purchase VEX Robotics kits and additional supplies to support STEM education in the Apollo-Ridge School District. The school will use the supplies to teach eighth-grade students a new STEM-based curriculum to encourage and inspire students to pursue more advanced high school courses, and possible careers in STEM-related fields.


The organization's mission is to stabilize, revitalize and reinvest in the Kansas City, Kansas, neighborhoods of Wyandotte County. The $15,000 grant will be used to expand Splitlog Farm, an urban farm that is cared for and used by the neighboring elementary school along with members of the community. Specific project costs include an irrigation system, materials for a shelter that will also serve as an educational pavilion, plowing, plants and seeds, safety fencing, seating and installation of water for irrigation.

Minnesota Literacy Council
St. Paul, Minnesota 

The Minnesota Literacy Council will use the $15,000 grant to purchase 31 Chromebook laptop computer to replace outdated units across all three of its locations. In addition, the organization will be able to purchase two digital projectors with media carts to facilitate their classroom teachings. The MLC has reached nearly 90,000 people by offering educational programs in language skills and GED preparation when the formal education sector is not enough.

Capitol Land Trust
Olympia, Washington

The $14,890 grant will be used by Capitol Land Trust to redevelop the trail at Randall Preserve, complete with a digital informational kiosk, three new benches and crushed shell and signage for the trail. The additions to the Randall Preserve trail will provide educational opportunities for the community and the nearby elementary school and college. The new kiosk and signage will showcase the history and importance of the area to the Squaxin Island Tribe, and the benches will provide opportunities to observe the natural environment and provide stopping points for classroom activities.

Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy
Gretna, Nebraska 

HETRA, a 2014 large grant recipient, has been granted another $15,000 to improve access to its outdoor arena. The organization uses equine-based therapy to improve the physical and emotional quality of life for individuals with disabilities. HETRA's grant will be used to grade and surface more than 11,000 square feet of a walkway and parking lot. With the improvements, clients will not have to trek through rugged terrain that can be difficult for those using wheelchairs, walkers or braces, or with an altered walking gait pattern. Previously, the HDR Foundation funded the installation of heaters and insulation for the indoor arena, allowing HETRA to provide services year-round. 

Large Grant Recipients

NorthStar Foundation
Omaha, Nebraska

Our volunteers have been working with the NorthStar Foundation for nearly three years. NorthStar, an afterschool program for boys in north Omaha, served students from fifth to eighth grade. But as boys aged out of the program as high school students, they slowly returned, wanting to continue in the program. To facilitate those students, we helped the boys design their own multifunction room. As a surprise, at the end of the design process, the HDR Foundation gave a $66,664.10 grant to pay for the renovation of what was a storage room.

Bridges to Prosperity
Denver, Colorado

Five HDR volunteers will work alongside five employees from PCL Construction to help Bridges to Prosperity construct a foot bridge in Panama. The community, which will be chosen in the coming weeks, will have a much easier access to vital resources because of the bridge. The HDR Foundation's $30,000 grant will fund half of the project, including the construction materials, and the volunteers will manage the project and travel to Panama for the final two weeks of construction.

Heart of America Council Boy Scouts of America
Kansas City, Missouri

The Boy Scouts of America's Heart of America Council is implementing "best management practices" in its Kansas City area scout campsites. At Camp Bartle, the HDR Foundation's $80,000 in funding will assist in the design and construction of "green pod" campsites, which will provide a permanent level and well-drained sites seeded with native grasses to control runoff, manage erosion and prevent sediment from entering the region's creeks and streams. This will become the foundation of a new Water Quality Protection Plan (WQPP) that will be incorporated into Camp Bartle's Master Conservation Plan that is currently in place.

Bluff Lake Nature Center
Denver, Colorado

Bluff Lake Nature Center will build the Sand Creek Ecology Deck with the $16,000 from the HDR Foundation, creating safe and sustainable access to Sand Creek for hundreds of school children who visit Bluff Lake every year. Not only will the funds allow BLNC to build a deck for classes to congregate, but it will also provide educational equipment such as waterproof shoes, bug nets, magnifying glasses and water quality kits for children to use while visiting Sand Creek.

Meals on Wheels
Austin, Texas

Meals on Wheels Central Texas is in need of a new kettle. The HDR Foundation's $21,104 grant will pay for the 60-gallon, stainless steel kettle that will help the organization cook the 545,000 meals that it delivers annually to nearly 3,000 central Texans, most of whom are elderly or disabled. More than 75 percent of the local Meals on Wheels clients are low-income and cannot afford meal delivery that the organization provides.