Lyda Hill’s long-standing appreciation of nature drives this area of philanthropic focus. Lyda Hill Philanthropies’ investments span a broad continuum — from projects and teams that focus on systemic changes in protecting and managing our environmental resources to research projects making meaningful change “on the ground.” Miss Hill believes everyone should have access to nature and remain committed to ongoing investments in green space.
Believing that the long-term success of our economy, health and communities is tied directly to the health of our planet, Lyda Hill Philanthropies seeks to fund projects that drive public awareness and appreciation for our natural world and resources, as well as organizations that educate and advocate for sustainable conservation of our most precious natural resources and spaces.
Lyda Hill Philanthropies funds projects that think big about making game-changing advances in large-scale protection of our natural resources and spaces.
Lyda Hill Philanthropies funds “on the ground” land and water conservation research projects as well as parks, and works to improve our environment and communities. For example, studies show that parks can encourage physical activity, reduce crime, revitalize local economies and help bring neighborhoods together. Miss Hill strongly encourages engagement with the local communities in which she works to ensure there is a green space within a ten-minute walk of every person, in every neighborhood.
“Do your givin’ while you’re livin’… then you’ll be knowin’ where it’s goin’.”
— Ann Landers
“The best philanthropy is constantly in search of the finalities
– a search for a cause, an attempt to cure evils at their source.”
— John D. Rockefeller
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”
— Robert Louis Stevenson
“The highest use of capital is not to make more money, but to make money do more for the betterment of life.”
— Henry Ford
“The proper aim of giving is to put the recipients in a state where they no longer need our gifts.”
— C.S. Lewis
“Philanthropy is the practice of applying assets of knowledge, passion and wealth to bring about constructive change.”
— Peter Goldmark
“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”
— Nelson Henderson
“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”
— William James
“Philanthropy is almost the only virtue which is sufficiently appreciated by mankind.”
— Henry David Thoreau
“What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
— Albert Pike
“A man’s true wealth is the good he does in this world.”
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
— Margaret Mead
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
— Anne Frank
“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”
— Winston Churchill
“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”
— Walt Disney
Garden of the Gods Park is a registered National Natural Landmark, consisting of 300-foot towering sandstone rock formations against a backdrop of snowcapped Pikes Peak and brilliant blue skies. The Garden of the Gods Park was rated No. 1 city park in the U.S. in 2014.
Project Highlight: Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center
As one of the most visited attractions in the Pikes Peak region, the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center offers free maps, park information, guided nature walks and free interpretive presentations daily. Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center has been voted Best of Colorado Springs for Recreation Services numerous times in recent years. The Visitor Center recently underwent a complete renovation to provide a modern experience for the millions of visitors who visit the park. Lyda Hill Philanthropies funded, built and has continued to support the Visitor Center for decades.
The Texas Trees Foundation (TTF) is a private nonprofit that implements nature-based solutions grounded in scientific research to promote health-centric change in Dallas.
Project Highlight: Southwest Medical District Urban Streetscape Master Plan
In 2015, TTF launched the State of the Dallas Urban Forest Report, which identified the Southwestern Medical District (SWMD) as an area with one of the largest urban heat islands in the City of Dallas. TTF’s research found that Dallas is heating up faster than every city in the country except for Phoenix. With less than 7 percent tree canopy, the impacts of the SWMD’s amplified heat on human health directly affect the costs and challenges of the three world-class hospitals located in the district. Lyda Hill’s interest in addressing issues at the nexus of public health and the environment has led her to support the SWMD Urban Streetscape Initiative Master Plan and Phase 1 Implementation, which will mitigate urban heat island effects and transform the SWMD into a model of green infrastructure on local and national levels.
Other Projects Include:
The Nature Conservancy works around the world to protect ecologically-important lands and waters for nature and people.
Project Highlight: Seychelles Debt Swap
In 2015, Miss Hill provided a grant to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to help execute a groundbreaking debt-for-conservation deal with the Seychelles. Negotiated by TNC in partnership with the Seychelles government and the Paris Club, an international debt-relief group, the transaction converts a portion of the nation’s foreign debt into a $22 million investment in expanded marine conservation. Despite the fact that the Seychelles’ marine waters are 3,000 times larger than its land area and more than 50 percent of the land is in a protected area, only 0.04 percent of the ocean was formally protected at the time. As part of the debt conversion, the Seychelles committed to increasing its marine protection to 30 percent of its Exclusive Economic Zone and ensuring representation of all marine habitats and species by 2022. Half of the commitment has already been realized through a 2018 designation of 210,000 square miles of marine-protected areas.
Other Projects Include:
This is a list of representative beneficiaries and should not be considered all inclusive.
Better Angels Society
Colorado Water Trust
Friends of South Georgia Island (FOSGI)
National Fish & Wildlife Foundation
Palmer Land Trust
Trust for Public Land
Water Funder Initiative
World Wildlife Fund