The Ray C. Anderson Foundation recently awarded a “NextGen” grant to the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (CRK) to support operating expenses necessary to grow and promote CRK’s floating classroom on West Point Lake in West Point, Georgia.
The Foundation’s NextGen is made up of Ray’s five grandchildren and their spouses who comprise the “next generation” for Ray’s legacy, which is embodied in the private family foundation that Ray endowed upon his passing in 2011. Traditionally the NextGen has been allocated funds annually from the Foundation Board to award as they see fit for carrying on their grandfather’s legacy.
“This year, the NextGen decided to put our focus on water conservation, and we also chose to use our funds to impact projects in our own communities,” said McCall Langford, Ray’s granddaughter, who grew up in Troup County, Georgia.
“Our grandfather grew up nearby, fishing along the Chattahoochee River in West Point, which feeds into West Point Lake. I feel like the grant we are awarding to CRK is a fitting tribute to my grandfather,” Langford said, “as we increase awareness about the Chattahoochee’s importance throughout the State of Georgia, while increasing hands-on exposure for children and adults in the local community.”
“Our choice to award this grant to CRK ties into the leadership impact that our Trustees have in the local environmental nonprofit community,” says Patrick Lanier, Ray’s grandson and son of Mary Anne Lanier, who currently serves on CRK’s Board of Directors.
In the past, the NextGen has supported urban agriculture projects through Truly Living Well in Atlanta. They have also supported increased educational outreach for the Net-Works program, which is a joint venture between the Zoological Society of London and Interface to reclaim plastic fish nets in remote fishing villages to repurpose into fibers that can be used to make new carpet tile.