Green Partners grants awarded in 2022
In July 2022, the county awarded 26 Green Partners environmental education grants totaling $470,100 to community organizations to engage their audiences in learning about and taking action to protect the environment. Together, these projects will engage more than 6,000 residents in taking action and reach more than 122,000 residents with environmental messages.
The program prioritizes environmental education and engagement with youth, Black, Indigenous, communities of color and other underserved and historically marginalized communities to reduce health and education disparities and advance environmental justice. Of the organizations receiving grants, 20 will work primarily with Black, Indigenous, and communities of color.
The program includes two types of grants – 13 of the organizations will work primarily with adult audiences to motivate environmental actions, and 13 organizations will work primarily with youth on learning about the environment and becoming environmental stewards.
Grant projects focus on a variety of topics, including protecting natural resources, reducing waste and recycling, and taking action on climate change. Grantees will engage audiences in 14 cities throughout the county.
Since the program was established in 2012, the program has awarded 205 grants totaling more than $2.4 million.
Youth environmental education grants
Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy
$18,000 to bring together 200 youth at the Metro Youth Climate Convergence where they will identify local climate justice issues and climate solutions they can take in their communities. Youth will be empowered to build relationships and change the narrative of what climate action looks like in the Twin Cities.
Highpoint Center for Printmaking
$18,000 to engage 200 5th grade youth from Burroughs Community School and Nellie Stone Johnson Community School in north Minneapolis in the study of rain gardens, clean water initiatives, recycling, pollinators, and protecting local bodies of water through outdoor education sessions, hands-on printmaking activities, poetry writing, and art exhibitions.
Minneapolis Nature Preschool
$20,000 to engage 750 students and teachers at Bryn Mawr Elementary and Anwatin Middle School in north Minneapolis to grow their connection to the school forest through a variety of student clubs and classes.
Minnesota African Women’s Association
$40,000 over two years to engage 150 Pan African youth ages 14 to 18 in intensive curriculum and environmental action programming around recycling, reducing waste, and removing toxic household products from the home. Youth will also learn leadership, advocacy, and critical thinking skills related to motivating behavior change and teaching others to take action.
Nawayee Center School
$40,000 over two years to engage 150 Native American youth in grades 7 through 12 in the Phillips Neighborhood of south Minneapolis in learning about soil, agriculture, and Indigenous plants by working in the school garden and community gardens around Hennepin County.
$20,000 to engage 170 Black, Indigenous, and other youth of color from south Minneapolis in outdoor, place-based learning activities related to the environmental and physical health and well-being of the community, including protecting pollinators through keeping beehives and planting flowers, bushes and trees, learning about local food systems through organic gardening, and beautifying streets and alleyways through planting gardens and cleaning out storm drains.
Orono School District
$15,000 to engage 1,200 students grades K through 5 in learning about the role organisms play in their environment, how some of the changing environmental conditions are impacting populations, and how actions they take can improve prospects for future populations and the overall environmental quality. Students will take trips to the school nature center and learn about the challenges faced by monarchs.
Regents of the University of Minnesota
$17,000 to engage 150 4-H youth in eco-literacy by adding environmental and climate justice topics to programming and providing opportunities for youth to be change agents on the issues they feel most affect them. Youth will be engaged through E-Clubs at North High, Sanford Middle School, and Hall STEM Academy schools, as well as at three summer day camp locations and one summer residential camp.
$10,000 to engage 50 high school youth in hands-on learning about reuse, including repair, resale, and rental, in ways students can incorporate into their daily lives as well as exploring reuse as a possible career.
Somali American Women's Action Center
$8,000 to engage 200 underserved youth from Minneapolis and Edina in reducing waste by sewing and using a Dambiil (fabric tote bag) instead of plastic bag, learning about connections between consumption, environmental justice, and climate change, and learning about ways to advocate to bring needed change.
South High Foundation
$5,000 to engage 250 youth in making connections between environmental initiatives currently happening at South High, including learning about pollinators and food sources, moving to zero waste through organics recycling and composting, and the impact of water quality on organisms and ecosystems.
The Bakken Museum
$10,000 to engage 100 middle school Native American youth from Minneapolis Public Schools in exploring water science and water protection through an event and a series of experiments, activities, and workshops that explores how urban water systems work, how they can help protect our local water and pollinators, and how urban wetlands and pollinators help our communities.
The Real Minneapolis
$10,000 to engage 150 youth in cleaning and greening their community through gardens and community clean-ups.
Environmental action grants
$10,000 to engage 200 renters and homeowners from the Midtown and Phillips neighborhoods in Minneapolis in accessing energy efficiency programs, including joining a cooperatively owned community solar garden in their neighborhood or city and receiving support to take the next step on weatherization and energy efficiency including installing LED light bulbs and distributing window kits and low-flow shower heads.
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
$7,300 to engage 150 people in south Minneapolis in converting hundreds of light bulbs to LED bulbs through education focused on overcoming common barriers such as access, cost, and lighting options and preferences.
Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota
$40,000 over two years engage 150 Southeast Asian community members from Minneapolis, Brooklyn Park, and Brooklyn Center to begin recycling at home and on the go and use reusable bags for grocery trips through outreach by their Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Green Team.
Longfellow Community Council
$10,000 to engage 750 members of community, focusing on Black, Indigenous, and other people of color and LGBTQ+ residents, in nature activities and waste prevention through building, painting, and placing Leopold benches made from salvaged wood into community nature spaces for participants and the public to enjoy and providing engaging nature programming.
Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association
$9,300 to engage 300 residents of the southeast Minneapolis neighborhood, largely students and renters, in organics recycling and recycling by making it easier and more accessible to participate.
$6,500 to engage 150 residents from the McKinley Neighborhood in north Minneapolis in preventing waste and composting by providing tools and access to participate in organics recycling or backyard composting.
$20,000 to engage 150 residents and youth in north Minneapolis in hands-on learning to create pollinator plantings in yards and community spaces with support and coaching by environmental justice advocates and apprentices trained in sustainable lawn care practices.
Mississippi Park Connection
$10,000 to engage 250 Black, Indigenous, and other people of color from across Hennepin County in connecting with the Mississippi River through outdoor experiences and education about its cultural and environmental significance.
MN Renewable Now
$40,000 over two years to engage 150 residents in north Minneapolis in reducing their carbon footprint by making it easy and convenient to sign-up for and participate in energy audits and renewable energy programs and learn about green energy job opportunities.
Off the Blue Couch
$40,000 over two years to engage 150 Black, Indigenous, and people of color from north Minneapolis in recycling by making it easier to participate by setting up at-home waste stations, helping families sign up for organics recycling, and educating on climate change and waste.
Resilient Cities and Communities
$16,000 to engage 150 residents of south Minneapolis in taking action in their neighborhood to protect water through hands-on, community litter clean-up along streets and shorelines leading to Lake Hiawatha and signing participants up to adopt storm drains.
$10,000 to engage 200 homeowners in Richfield and Bloomington in replacing existing lawns with native plants to support pollinators and reduce the urban heat island and install rain barrels to redirect stormwater for use in native gardens.
Urban Bird Collective
$20,000 to engage 200 people from Black, Native American, LatinX, Asian, and other communities of color across the county in reducing energy use and making their yards more bird and pollinator friendly by providing training, tools, and encouragement from community leaders of color.