2013 Spring Climate Grants

2013 Spring Climate Grants

Stafford House Inc

Grant Amount: $3500

Project Title: Belmont Community Gardening Project

Project Description: Stafford House’s project will enhance youth participation in maintaining the community garden by providing the space with a garden scape structure that would create a space for children in the neighborhood to learn how plants grow, how they use water, why they need water and how to maintain them.  Residents, block club members, nonprofit partners and volunteers will come together to build the garden scape to complement the new watering and irrigation system being installed this spring.  In addition to planting and sharing fresh vegetabels, residents use the garden as a shared space for picnics, gatherings, and community building.  Small children will be able to socialize while learning how to care for the house and garden.


Nature Abounds

Grant Amount: $4000

Project Title: Climate Change Ambassadors for the Lake Erie and Lake Ontario Watershed Basins

Project Description: Nature Abounds will expand our Climate Change Ambassador Project to additional locations within the Lake Erie basin and also to the Lake Ontario Watershed Basin. We will recruit, train, and engage adult volunteers as advocates in their communities (target states of OH, PA, NY) for planning and adaptation due to climate changes happening now and expected for the future. Volunteers will engage in outreach from garden shops to garden clubs, from local officials to community influential, and to the media, presenting them with climate change information and advocating for planning and adaptation with climate change in mind.   We will work with volunteers to identify the community members influential in their area to approach about climate change in relating to planning and adaptation and help them identify adaptation projects. Nature Abounds will do trainings as well as webinars, and conference calls.


New Image Lifeskills Academy, Inc

Grant Amount: $5000

Project Title: Purple Oasis Garden Environmental Irrigation System

Project Description: New Image Life Skills Academy will install a water retention and irrigation system to collect runoff and provide a water source for gardens and a greenhouse at the site.   A zone irrigation system will provide needed water without waste.  A solar panel will be installed on the straw bale greenhouse.  We will engage the youth in the community to volunteer at the garden and join in our education programs about food and the environment.


Middle Grand River Organization of Watersheds

Grant Amount: $5000

Project Title: Reforestation of the Looking Glass River Corridor and Middle Grand River Watershed

Project Description: Middle Grand River Organization of Watersheds (MGROW) will reestablish  a healthy riparian buffer and corridor along the Looking Glass River.  This effort will help reduce the impact of climate change, provide shade cover, reduce polluted runoff and stabilize infiltration areas.  Through this project MGROW will empower local grassroots groups to have a voice with local governments and offer input related to land use planning in their community.  With MGROW’s assistance, they will be in a better position to discuss with local governments that climate change is impacting their local water resources.


Brule River Preservation

Grant Amount: $4000

Project Title: Brule River Stewardship and Adaptation Initiative

Project Description: Brule River Preservation will use a special opportunity presented by the assessment of wetland services within the Lake Superior Basin of Douglas County by the Lake Superior National Estuary Research Reserve.  We will use this forum to work with county and town officials as they consider the issues of wetland protection, restoration, and mitigation and advocate for climate adaptation as a key component or consideration.  We will work with the Department of Natural Resources, Brule River State forest, Brule River Sportsmen’s Club, Village of Lake Nebagamon, and the Townships of Brule and Highland to promote a watershed perspective in all decision making regarding climate adaptation, hydrologic connectivity, beaver control, and large wood debris.  We will advocate for the need for monitoring water temperature of the Brule River and its tributaries and promote climate adaptation and watershed resiliency.


Blacks in Green

Grant Amount: $5000

Project Title: West Woodlawn Botanic Garden & Village Farm

Project Description: BIG;s (Blacks In Green) West Woodlawn Botanic Garden & Village Farm project aims to train, pay and support our neighbors in the art and science of land stewardship within the square mile of their walkable village;  Our plan is to imagine and help implement a network of gardens of all kinds: kitchen, backyard, school, church, community, indoor, outdoor, food, flowers, commercial and their related food enterprises and markets.  Through these efforts, we aim to learn the methods of food security and begin exploring how to increase household income via Green-Village-Building.  We will collect information to answer the following questions:  how many households can we feed?; how many businesses/jobs can we create?; how many neighbors could we train?; and how many gallons of stormwater can we convert?  We are starting with a modest goal in 2013,  The Year of the Backyard Garden,  we will foster, mentor, support cultivation of 10 sustainable backyard gardens to help reduce basement flooding, produce beautiful flowers and healthy food.


River Raisin Institute

Grant Amount: $4600

Project Title: Baby Elephant and Climate Change for Monroe County Students

Project Description: River Raisin Institute will extend the transformational learning process with Monroe County students and teachers through our Baby Elephant project to focus the 2014 program on climate change impacts and adaptation strategies for resilient communities.  We will provide curriculum resources and encourage schools to implement a climate adaptation or mitigation project as part of the program.  River Raisin Institute will organize two public gathering times – – the Monroe County Earth Day Expo (April 2014) and at the Monroe County Fair Parade (August 2014) to show-off the elephants and the climate projects implemented at the schools.  Students will learn about Resilient Monroe a multi-jurisdictional effort to plan for climate change, as well as share their projects with Resilient Monroe leaders.


Kalamazoo Nature Center

Grant Amount: $5000

Project Title: Climate Adaptation Strategy, Action Plan, and Demonstration Project for Kalamazoo, MI

Project Description: Kalamazoo Nature Center will coordinate the development of a  climate action plan for our community with the engagement of the public, local business leaders, city officials, leaders from Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo College, and local non-profit sector leaders. In October 2013 members of the Kalamazoo community will gather for a series of events culminating in a visit by Bill McKibben and the Kalamazoo Area Wild Ones conference with 150 members, Biodiversity: Addressing the challenge of climate change. We will hold a series of meetings to engage members of different sectors of our community to invest and commit to the development of the plan. The plan that we will develop will also focus on designing ways to reduce greenhouse gas emission from transit, homes, and businesses in Kalamazoo and involving members of these organizations in the development of the plan. In addition, we will implement a climate adaptation project at Portage Creek urban park to demonstrate the need for both adaptation and mitigation.



Grant Amount: $3000

Project Title: Climate Adaptation Week: Building Resilient Communities

Project Description:  Environment Erie will work with several partners to sponsor Climate Adaptation Week: Building Resilient Communities in October 2013. Three different workshops will be offered including: 1) directed at communities and citizens to learn about how their work and communities may be vulnerable to climate change and potential solutions to reduce impacts through adaptation strategies; 2) directed at scientific community to learn about why it is important to include climate change perspective in research; and 3) directed at municipal officiais,engineers, community planners and others involved in managing stormwater and protecting water quality to learn how using sustainable design and low impact development can help meet new stormwater regulations.


Cayuga Lake Watershed Network

Grant Amount: $3000

Project Title: Six Mile Creek & Our Communities, Preparing for Climate Change

Project Description: Using Freshwater Future’s  Great Lakes Climate Change Adaptation Toolkit to guide adaptive healing, we will hold a weekend event to celebrate and educate about the vulnerability of Six Mile Creek’s uses and values to climate change and related ills, including invasive species, gas drilling and fracking, and over-development. All the watersheds contributing to Cayuga Lake are of equal ecological value, but Six Mile Creek has numerous layers of human use and occupance that make it a centerpiece for outreach about adapting to climate change. Four towns and the City of Ithaca benefit from its waters and gorge on its way to Cayuga Lake:  Its headwaters are in Dryden and Danby; it flows through Caroline and the Town of Ithaca, and provides the City of Ithaca with its water supply.  The beautiful creek gorge is a centerpiece for recreational activity and a site for serenity, plunging downhill through the heart of Tompkins County. The Network, Level Green Institute and other partners will provide the first local FWF-guided adaptive healing climate change workshop, speakers, solar powered stage with performers, refreshments, linking of the towns from headwaters to lake, and Headwaters Expedition from bottom to top of the watershed.


Detroit Contemporary

Grant Amount: $5000

Project Title: Water Collecting & Water Art

Project Description: Detroit Contemporary will re-route our rooftop and rainwater drainage pipes along the side of our building and into a water-collecting rain barrel.  We will be assisting in stormwater management and be able to water our outdoor Community Garden with the saved water.  In addition, we will add a Water Show to our exhibition season.  As an art gallery already building an audience of advocacy with past shows titled, For Farm’s Sake: A Farmer’s Exhibition and the Political Poster Show for the People, we believe in encouraging Michigan artists to express themselves and their relationship with water through art.  This artistic endeavor will help Detroit, Michigan and its citizens identify stronger with waters.  The Great Lake State will in turn resonate a greater pride and concern in taking care of its sacred natural resource.


Eden Gardens Block Club

Grant Amount: $3400

Project Title: Eden Gardens’ Garden- Turning Vacant Lots into an Eco Friendly Environment

Project Description: Eden Gardens Block Club is in the early stages of developing a community garden.  Our plans are to help change the lives of people in the community by providing fresh vegetables, and using rain gardens to capture rain to help water the garden.  Making rain gardens will capture waste water and help change the appearance of the many vacant lots by replacing weeds and garbage with flowers and vegetables.  We will also use these as demonstration sites to teach residents how to plant these on their own lots and improve their understanding of how their daily actions affect the environments, including contributing to water pollution and climate change.


Greater Woodward Community Development Corporation

Grant Amount: $4966

Project Title: Oakland Avenue Garden Solar Enhancement Project

Project Description: Our North End Detroit community lacks security of food, water, and jobs.  With the installation of a solar array on the Oakland Avenue Garden & Farmer’s Market will greatly benefit this existing garden which has operated for five years, by 1) extending the growing season by 2 months, enabling the garden to produce more food for the Emergency Food Pantry; 2) addressing issues of extreme weather providing power to operate fans in hot months and provide heat in cooler months; 3) capture and move rain water from the cistern to the garden; 4) beginning an education process on grassroots solutions to climate issues; 5) transitioning off of the electric grid and utilize solar energy for all garden functions; and 6) creating meaningful work for our residents by using  community members trained in solar installation.


Neighbors Building Brightmoor

Grant Amount: $4734

Project Title: Rain Water Catchment and Rain Garden Project

Project Description: Neighbors Building Brightmoor’s two-ponged project will result in the construction of rainwater catchment systems consisting of a number of roofed and un-roofed structures that will catch and channel rain water into a series of large holding tanks for watering three neighborhood gardens through the use of drip tape or watering cans.  We will also construct a large rain garden next to one of our neighborhood gardens in order to help resolve a storm water flooding problem, redirection the water away from the city sewer system and sinking into the nearby soil.


Voices for Earth Justice

Grant Amount: $4400

Project Title: Garden Demonstration and Education in Brightmoor, Detroit

Project Description: Voices for Earth Justice will build a large rain garden in front of our environmental education center in northwest Detroit (Brightmoor area), called Hope House. Voices for Earth Justice will use the rain garden as an educational tool to demonstrate low-impact solutions to community stormwater problems in Brightmoor. We will conduct community tours, and educational presentations to promote rain gardens as a way to adapt to climate change. In addition, Voices for Earth Justice will assist with the building of more rain gardens in Brightmoor in the next year.



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Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.