Borax Visitor Center Foundation

Celebrating and supporting the Boron community

Celebrating 20+ Years of Community Giving

Giving back to our communities is a hallmark of business for U.S. Borax and our parent company, Rio Tinto. The Borax Visitor Center Foundation—made up of company and community leaders—oversees the disbursement of Visitor Center funds through an annual grant program.

The Borax Visitor Center Foundation Grant Program supports nonprofit, tax-exempt, and governmental organizations in and around Boron, California—the location of our U.S. mine. Founded in 1998, the Foundation has returned more than $300,000 in funding, including $100,000 in scholarships, to the community over the past two decades.

Each year, the Foundation awards thousands of dollars in grants aimed to improve public education, health and human services, and historic preservation. The funding for these grants comes from Borax Visitor Center gift store proceeds, visitor donations, U.S. Borax employee payroll donations, and company contributions, with Rio Tinto matching 50 cents on each dollar that our employees give.

Borax Visitors Center

Borax Visitor Center
The Borax Visitor Center, located at the Borax mine in Boron, California, is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are welcome. Schools visiting on field trips can apply for transport reimbursement through the Foundation.

Previous Grant Awardees

2021 Winners

  • 20 Mule Team Museum for new carpeting
  • Boron Alive for the annual Thanksgiving Dinner and to support the West Elementary School Fall Festival
  • Boron High School Seniors for continuing education scholarships
  • Boron Junior-Senior High School for honor roll field trips, extra-curricular activities, and college book scholarship fund

2020 Winners

  • 20 Mule Team Museum for exterior restoration
  • Boron Alive for the community Trunk or Treat Halloween celebration and the annual Thanksgiving dinner
  • Boron High School Seniors for continuing education scholarships
  • Boron Junior-Senior High School for honor roll field trips and college book scholarship fund

  • Boron Little League for operations and to install a scoreboard on the girls’ softball field
  • Boron Senior Center for a new stove and oven
  • Reggie’s Kicks for Kids for shoes and athletic equipment
  • Wind in the Willows Preschool for childcare fund


Applications will be accepted only from governmental entities, such as schools, or from non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) organizations, as defined by the Internal Revenue Service. Eligible organizations must focus on one or more of these areas:  

  • Education 
  • Health and human services 
  • Community improvement 
  • Historic preservation 

Organizations must also be located in and provide services to one or more of these California communities: 

  • Boron 
  • Desert Lake 
  • North Edwards 
  • Aerial Acres 
  • Kramer Junction 

Religious, political, or fraternal organizations or those outside the grant area are ineligible.


Directors of the Borax Visitor Center Foundation review and award grants to eligible organizations annually.

Grant requests fall under one of two categories:

  • Funding for a specific program or project. Applicants need to provide budgetary information for that project only.
  • Funding for day-to-day operations. Applicants should use the most recent expense and revenue dollars for your entire organization.
  • Awardees of grants from the previous year also need to submit a letter that thoroughly explains how their organization spent that grant funding and how the grant affected the local community.

How to Apply

The application for the 2022 grant has closed Awards will be announced in May or June. If you have questions, please email our Borax Visitor Center Foundation representative, Mary Beth Garrison, at

Borax Visitor Center Foundation Board of Directors

  • Amanda Smith
    General Manager, Borates and Lithium—U.S. Borax
  • Bill Cole
    Finance Business Partner—U.S. Borax
  • Mary Beth Garrison
    Manager, Government Affairs—U.S. Borax
  • Thomas Marshall
    President—ILWU Local #30
  • Jim Boghosian
    Operational Manager—Bo’s Fitness Center
  • Kevin Cordes
    Superintendent—Muroc Joint Unified School District
  • Ron Fox
    Superintendent—U.S. Borax
Administrative Conditions 
The Borax Visitor Center Foundation Grant Program is intended to be a continuing program. However, the Foundation retains the right to suspend, change, revoke, or terminate the program at any time.

U.S. Borax, part of Rio Tinto, is a global leader in the supply and science of borates—naturally-occurring minerals containing boron and other elements. We are 1,000 people serving 500 customers with more than 1,700 delivery locations globally. We supply 30% of the world’s need for refined borates from our world-class mine in Boron, California, about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles.  Learn more about Rio Tinto.

Copyright © 2022 Rio Tinto. All Rights Reserved.