Federal Resources for Community Issues

Is money for a stewardship project on your Christmas list? Communities facing sustainability issues have access to a wide range of public and private funding opportunities, even if you don’t realize it. Think of a grant application like writing a letter to Santa: you should ask for what you really want! 

For example, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is currently accepting applications for its Environmental Justice (EJ) Small Grants Program, which supports and empowers communities working on solutions to local environmental and public health issues. The program assists recipients in building collaborative partnerships to help them understand and address environmental and public health issues in their communities. Successful collaborative partnerships involve not only well-designed strategic plans to build, maintain and sustain the partnerships, but also working towards addressing the local environmental and public health issues. (For details on the EPA EJ grant, visit their website: https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/environmental-justice-grants-funding-and-technical-assistance

For this opportunity, EPA anticipates awarding one to five grants per EPA region in amounts of up to $30,000 per award for one year. Other grant opportunities can mean more than $200,000 per project, depending on the source. AI is working to build a robust inventory of grants that may apply to ACSP, Sustainable Communities, Signature, and Green Lodging members. Please let us know if there is a grant opportunity that you think others might be able to pursue, and we will spread the word. 

Communities in New York who are interested in working with Audubon International on an environmental justice assessment and project funded by the EPA’s EJ grants are invited to contact us as soon as possible. Grant proposals must be submitted by January 7, 2013. Audubon staff will work with communities on proposals for environmental justice projects where there is a clear opportunity to improve air and water quality or reduce pollution. 

Funds from grants like these can be used not only to implement local stewardship projects but also to cover AI’s program membership fees, so that AI staff can help you integrate your project into a comprehensive sustainability program for your community. So start thinking about what types of projects your community would like to do, and let us know if you’d like to fit it into your sustainability program efforts. 

AI can offer members assistance with this and any other grant opportunities that will further sustainability efforts. You need only ask! 

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