Veronique Pittman, Trustee, Pittman Family Foundation

    “We are living in an age where we are outside less, building less with our hands, and not learning to adapt to variable conditions. How can we provide opportunities for everyone to appreciate the land, water, and air that are essential to human survival?"

    1. How did you become involved in philanthropy and what kinds of projects do you fund?

    My first donation as a young woman was to N.O.W when they were trying to legalize RU486 in 1989. I became active in philanthropy after my second marriage. At the Pittman Family Foundation we focus our giving on areas that align with our values and interests, and on local community-strengthening initiatives in the places we live. They run the gamut and are often synergistic, from environment, to poverty alleviation, to the arts, to health.

    2. Why do you/your organization focus on connecting people to nature/ environmental literacy?

    You can’t protect what you don’t love. Two leading activists with radically different strategies to mitigate climate change – Tom Steyer and Bill McKibben – described the reasons they cared so deeply about the environment. Their answer was the same: their happiest memories as children were when they were in nature. We are living in an age where we are outside less, building less with our hands, and not learning to adapt to variable conditions. How can we provide opportunities for everyone to appreciate the land, water, and air that are essential to human survival?

    3. What are some of your favorite grants or projects related to connecting people to nature or advancing environmental literacy?

    I am on the board of the Green Schools Alliance. As one of their earliest funders, I helped them build their online resource-sharing platform. They are now in a position to transform policy and markets, provided they get the support they need to incentivize sustainability champions in schools to participate in the programs they provide, free of charge, to schools and school professionals.

    I am also proud of Bedford2020 Greenlight Awards. I’m on their board and I serve on their Schools and Waste & Recycling Taskforces. Modeled roughly after the television show “Shark Tank,” the Greenlight Awards inspires local students to put their Big Green ideas into action. In this year-long program, students from 3 high schools in my community (Bedford) compete for funding to develop projects that have an impact in our community. At the end of the school year the finalists compete for $500 and the Greenlight Award. Like every other Bedford2020 initiative, it is designed to be replicable and scalable. Their overall mission is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect natural resources by way community action.

    4. What's your favorite place on Earth?

    Bali or Costa Rica. I plan on attending BambooU in Bali in 2018 and am developing a new immersive experience in nature for high school students called "Jungle Camp" in Costa Rica. Jungle Camp already is being run for adults at Punta Mona’s Center for Regenerative Design & Botanical Studies. The goal is to optimize this for high school kids during spring break.

    5. What is your favorite outdoor activity and where do you like to do it?

    I like any activity with a low carbon footprint that allows me to lose myself in the moment, and achieve a flow state. This includes windsurfing, kiteboarding, surfing, cross-country skiing, bouldering, rollerblading and mountain biking.
     

    Veronique Pittman is an Advisory Board Member of the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy, and Board member of The Rainforest Foundation, Global Goods Partners, the Green Schools Alliance, Bedford2020, and LessCancer. She also serves on Audubon's Rachel Carson Awards Council. She is a community organizer and activist in the areas of indigenous rights, biodiversity conservation, green solutions, waste & recycling, women's reproductive health, and participatory art.  A web designer by profession, she is also a writer, mountaineer, and professional cook. She graduated with a BS in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania.

    I am very proud of my daughter

    I am very proud of my daughter Veronique Pittman and her role and participation in Blue Sky Funders Forum.

    JOIN THE CONVERSATION

    The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
    All comments are reviewed and moderated.
    Image CAPTCHA
    Enter the characters shown in the image.