NYSP2I announces recipients of 2013-14 Community Grant Program

Institute funds eight statewide organizations leading environmentally friendly initiatives

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The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I), which provides comprehensive and integrated programming in technology research, development and training aimed at promoting sustainability across New York state, has announced the recipients of its 2013-2014 Community Grant Program.

Following the completion of a competitive review process, the institute is funding eight proposals from organizations statewide. The program provides nonprofit organizations and local governments financial and technical assistance for projects that promote and implement pollution-prevention practices at the community level.

“We’re very pleased to announce the funding of these innovative organizations that are working hard toward reducing our environmental footprint and making our state more sustainable,” said Anahita Williamson, director of NYSP2I. “Each of these initiatives will take on challenging environmental opportunities facing communities in all corners of our state.”

The winning proposals include:

  • Retrofit Standardization in Low- and Moderate-Income Communities: Pratt Center for Community Development in Brooklyn will create a community-based model for dramatically increasing the number of home-energy retrofit kits in many of New York City’s low-income neighborhoods. The program is designed to create a standard, simple package of energy-efficiency measures that can be implemented in thousands of homes across the city’s communities.
  • The Hospitality Green Cleaning Challenge: New York State Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, based in Albany, will educate restaurant owners and staff about toxic chemicals found in cleaning products. The project also will raise awareness about safe alternatives through educational materials, training sessions, follow-up support and presentations at hospitality classes.
  • Pollution Prevention Through Child Care Provider Engagement: Albany-based Clean and Healthy New York will expand its existing program into Broome, Chenango and Tioga counties. The program will build a broad network of childcare providers in the area to engage in pollution prevention through the reduction of toxic chemical use.
  • Chemicals Education for Cancer Prevention: Linking Pollution Prevention and Breast Cancer Risk: Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester will increase the public’s understanding of chemicals with potential endocrine-disrupting and carcinogenic effects through the use of research-based outreach materials developed by the Breast Cancer and Environment Research Program. This project will focus on low-income, minority women of childbearing age who have recently immigrated to the Rochester area and who may be at risk of chemical exposure.
  • Collect, Construct, Change: New York Hall of Science, based in Corona, will focus on the professional development of educators from several New York City community-based organizations. The project will enable educators to implement their own “Collect, Construct, Change” (C3) programs for students ages 6 to 8. The C3 program is an existing project through which underserved city youths learn about air pollution through hands-on exercises and active participation.
  • A Template for Community ReUse Centers in NYS: Finger Lakes ReUse Inc. in Ithaca will develop an interactive, online template to assist communities in replicating the successful nonprofit Community ReUse Center model the organization established in 2008. The template will be designed and distributed as a tool to transform liabilities into assets by reducing solid-waste generation, creating quality “green” jobs and developing a skilled workforce.
  • Classroom Energy Challenge: Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board in Syracuse will implement a program in the city’s H.W. Smith Middle School that encourages the adoption of conservation, efficiency and renewable energy upgrades though the formation of a school “green team.” It also will focus on the development of curriculum that focuses on energy use and environmental protection.
  • 2014 Erie County Envirothon: Erie County Soil and Water Conservation District in East Aurora will conduct its annual natural science competition on the topic of “Sustainable Local Agriculture/Locally Grown.” Free and open to all Erie County high school students, the competition will offer students the chance to learn about environmental topics from professionals and hands-on activities.

To date, NYSP2I’s Community Grant Program has supported nearly 50 projects throughout New York state with grants totaling more than $650,000. A request for applications is typically announced in the fall. For information, go to http://www.rit.edu/affiliate/nysp2i/.

About NYSP2I

NYSP2I, located at Rochester Institute of Technology, was created in 2008 by the state and is supported by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The institute provides statewide, comprehensive and integrated programming in technology research, development and diffusion, training and education aimed at making New York state more sustainable for workers, the public, the environment and the economy. Additional partners include Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Clarkson University, State University of New York at Buffalo and New York’s 10 Regional Technology Development Centers.