Environmental education grants awarded in 2021
In August 2021, grants were awarded to 22 organizations totaling $288,700.
The Green Partners grant program supports the county’s goals of promoting environmental stewardship, engaging communities, enhancing quality of life, and protecting the environment for current and future generations. 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 5,700 residents in becoming environmental stewards and taking action to protect the environment. These projects are expected to reach more than 100,000 residents with environmental messages. Of the 22 projects, 15 projects engage Black, Indigenous, or communities of color and residents that live in areas of concern for environmental justice and nine serve youth.
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 183 grants totaling more than $2.1 million.
Youth environmental education grants
Gaia Democratic School
$10,000 to engage more than 200 youth in learning about sustainable farming techniques such as active composting, companion planting to reduce pesticides, attracting pollinators, rain water collection, and water recycling.
Highpoint Center for Printmaking
$14,500 to engage 175 youth in 5th grade from Nellie Stone Johnson and Bourroughs Community Schools in their Creative Clean Water Stewards Project to study nearby rain gardens and bodies of water and learn printmaking skills to share what they learned.
Minneapolis Nature Preschool
$10,000 to engage 1,135 students from the preschool, Bryn Mawr Elementary, Anwatin Middle School in outdoor, nature, and forestry programming.
$10,000 to engage middle and high school youth from the Minneapolis Baha’I Center and neighborhoods around 38th Street and Chicago in placemaking, environmental design, community gardening, and outdoor environmental education.
Project Sweetie Pie
$20,000 to engage 150 youth from north Minneapolis in creating a food forest in North Minneapolis, centering youth environmental stewardship and community engagement throughout the process through their Shared Fruit initiative.
Regents of the University of MN – 4H
$20,000 to engage more than 300 youth in environmental awareness and knowledge to empower youth from diverse communities to see themselves as environmental stewards through school-year environmental (“E”) clubs, day camp and residential camp experiences.
Regents of the University of MN – Institute on the Environment
$20,000 to engage more than 200 youth from Minneapolis and the University in participating in climate change simulation workshops.
Special School District 1 (South High School)
$4,000 to engage 9-12th grade students in an Outdoor Learning Program by learning about and creating a sustainable garden and habitat for the birds and pollinators.
Wayzata Sailing Foundation
$13,000 to engage more than 200 youth in learning about stormwater pollution and aquatic invasive species and educate others in the community about actions they can take to protect Lake Minnetonka.
Environmental Action grants
Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy
$20,000 to engage 150 residents in Hennepin County Climate Stories, highlighting the ways they are taking action on climate change, and intentionally engaging BIPOC communities.
$10,000 to engage 250 affordable housing residents in reducing their energy bills by learning about energy conservation and purchasing solar credits from a community garden hosted on their residence or nearby site in Minneapolis.
Congregations Caring for Creation (dba Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light)
$20,000 to engage 600 members in their Climate Justice Household Program to create a climate justice plan for their household using a carbon tracker and guide.
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
$5,000 to engage 400 church members in converting 10,000 light bulbs to LED bulbs and encourage neighbors and friends to do the same.
Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota
$20,000 to engage 300 Southeast Asian community members between to begin recycling at home and on the go and use reusable bags for grocery trips through outreach by their AAPI Green Team.
Minneapolis Area Synod ELCA
$10,000 to engage 150 members to cut their use of single-use plastic by picking up trash around waterways, learning strategies for zero-waste purchasing, and preventing waste at home by focusing on single-use plastics for food purchases.
Northside Residents Redevelopment Council
$13,000 to engage 150 adults in installing rain barrels at home, calculating annual stormwater capture potential, and engaging others to participate through their NRRC Rain Barrel Ambassador Program.
Off the Blue Couch
$20,000 to engage more than 100 north Minneapolis residents, with an emphasis in Black/African Immigrant communities in recycling, organics, and climate change by hosting workshops and setting up waste stations in participants’ homes.
Preservation Alliance of Minnesota (dba Rethos: Places Reimagined)
$9,200 to engage 150 owners of older homes in Old Home Energy Efficiency workshops to learn do it yourself skills and tools to rehab and weatherize their homes.
South Uptown Neighborhood Association
$10,000 to engage homeowners and residents in diverting organic waste by signing up for the city program and using drop-off sites or curbside service.
St Louis Park Friends of the Arts
$10,000 to engage 150 residents in protecting water through their Paint the Drain: Art for Clean Water & Healthy Soil program to engage families in 5 neighborhoods to adopt and clean storm drains and learn how to reduce over-fertilization and adopt sustainable lawn care strategies.
Tangletown Neighborhood Association
$10,000 to engage more than 300 residents in learning to live a low waste lifestyle by reducing household food waste and avoiding packaging waste.
Urban Bird Collective
$10,000 to engage 150 residents in enjoying nature, picking up litter, and reducing plastic bottle waste through their The Outdoors are for Everyone! program that engages Black, Native American, LatinX, Asian, and People of Color.