Environmental education grants awarded in 2020
In September 2020, grants were awarded to 20 organizations totaling $304,600.
The grants provide training, support, and funding to organizations to implement projects that engage residents to protect and improve the environment.
The program offers two types of grants: environmental action grants for projects that focus on motivating adults to take environmentally friendly actions, and environmental education grants for projects engaging youth in environmental education and stewardship. Returning grantees are eligible to receive up to $20,000, and new grantees can be awarded up to $10,000.
The grants awarded will engage more than 6,500 residents in becoming environmental stewards and taking action to protect the environment. These projects are expected to reach more than 200,000 residents with environmental messages. Of the 23 projects, 21 projects engage Black, Indigenous, or communities of color and residents that live in areas of concern for environmental justice.
Research and past project outcomes have shown that these models of environmental engagement are effective in motivating participants to take actions that have a positive impact on the environment.
Since the program was established in 2012, the program has awarded 165 grants totaling more than $1.8 million.
Youth environmental education grants
$10,000 to engage 150 youth in becoming Bolder Youth Environmental Advocates. Youth will participate in outdoor nature activities and learn about household hazardous waste, bicycling for transportation, reducing food waste, environmental benefits of gardening, composting, and identifying natural resources.
Boys and Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities
$20,000 to engage 1,625 youth in environmental education by participating in outdoor nature activities such as canoeing, hiking, camping, and citizen science at Voyageur Environmental Center in Mound and Earth Day activities at club sites throughout Hennepin County.
Brooklyn Center ISD 286
$10,000 to work with 12 teachers across grades K – 5 to integrate environmental education curriculum that will engage 300 students in environmental education and stewardship.
Emerge Community Development
$19,500 to train 48 youth who will educate community members in Minneapolis about green cleaners, safe use of cleaners during COIVD-19, and protecting pollinators.
$10,000 to engage 230 youth in creating their own future climate simulations using proven, interdisciplinary curriculum led by University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment. Participants will also take part in a climate solutions workshop and create hands-on energy projects with Renewable Energy Partners.
Hispanic Advocacy and Community Empowerment through Research (HACER)
$10,000 to engage 20 Latino teenagers in learning about climate change and sustainable transportation through workshops and activities. The teens will conduct outreach to more than 150 community members about actions they can take to reduce their impact.
In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre
$10,000 to engage 200 youth and their families from Little Earth of United Tribes, Project for Pride in Living, and others in their Artful Advocates for Environmental Justice project, a 3-month series of online art workshops to inspire elementary aged youth to care about the environment.
Loring Elementary, Special School District 1
$10,000 to engage 400 youth and parents at Loring Elementary in Minneapolis in environmental education through hands-on, place-based, and cross-disciplinary lessons about local habitats, composting, pollinators, and trees. The project will culminate in the creation of a school mural of the web of life.
$20,000 to engage 175 older youth and young adults from north Minneapolis and affordable housing communities in Minneapolis and Brooklyn Park in a skill building and green infrastructure career pathway program focused on sustainable land care practices. The training will involve hands-on stewardship of local native landscapes and urban stormwater management features.
Minnesota African Women's Association
$20,000 to engage 150 Pan-African youth ages 14 to 18 in environmental education curriculum and activities from the perspective of their African values to increase recycling, reduce waste, and conserve energy at home.
$20,000 to engage 350 3rd and 5th graders from Dowling Elementary School, and Loring Elementary School, and Success Academy in virtual pollinator education through the creation of Bee STEMified Virtual Reality lessons. The lessons will be free to classrooms across the county.
Somali American Women Action Center
$10,000 to engage 200 East African youth in learning from their cultural perspective about reducing the use of plastic bags and single use plastics. The Dambiil Challenge will help participate make the connection between climate change, environmental justice, and waste. Dambiil is a Somali word that means tote bag.
The Highpoint Center for Printmaking
$14,600 to engage 150 fifth grade youth in the study of waterbodies and rain gardens. You will learn about factors threatening water and pollinators and actions they can take to prevent pollution through outdoor, place-based environmental education and the art of printmaking.
Environmental action grants
Center for Earth, Energy, and Democracy
$20,000 to engage 150 participants from low-income, indigenous, and communities of color in interactive and culturally specific workshops on energy conservation and home weatherization through their Energy Education Series.
Congregations Caring for Creation (dba Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light)
$20,000 to engage 200 households from faith communities in creating personalized climate justice action plans and taking specific actions to reduce their carbon footprint, starting with changing their light bulbs, recycling, and composting at home.
Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota
$20,000 to engage 100 Project Green Ambassadors from the Southeast Asian community in reducing, reusing, and recycling using the “Teach English, Teach About the Environment” curriculum from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which supports cultural practices and environmental protection.
Minneapolis Climate Action and Fortune, Relief, and Youth Empowerment Organization (FRAYEO)
$20,000 to engage 150 East African residents from Minneapolis in learning about climate change and reducing their use of single use plastics.
MN Renewable Now
$10,000 to engage 150 households in north Minneapolis in reducing energy use and using clean energy through their Power North campaign. The campaign will help residents sign up to receive energy audits, obtain energy efficiency upgrades, or join local renewable energy programs.
Off The Blue Couch and Minnesota Africans United
$20,000 to engage more than 400 Black and African residents in improving their recycling and organics composting habits by featuring their Rusty mascot, inviting participants to become part of Rusty's Crew, and teaching about the intersection between climate change and waste.
Tangletown Neighborhood Association
$10,000 to engage 200 residents of Minneapolis in reducing their textile waste by repairing or buying used clothing. Activities will include seasonal panels and events with opportunities to learn to repair, donate, purchase, and swap used clothing.
2019 grants that have been extended
The following youth environmental education grant projects have been extended to 2021 due to requirements for distance learning and decreases in-person activities due to COVID-19 and damage from the unrest in Minneapolis.
$10,000 to will engage 250 community members and American Indian youth in learning and teaching others about ecosystems, renewable energy, and traditional American Indian sustainability practices.
St. Anthony New Brighton ISD 282
$18,500 to engage 150 high school students and community members in curriculum and service learning projects about climate change and solar energy.
University of Minnesota – Regents, Hennepin County 4H
$10,000 to engage 150 youth from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Center and two additional Minneapolis parks in learning about ecosystems and waste.