NYSP2I selects 13 awardees for 2022-23 Community Grants Program

Initiative has supported 129 projects totaling $2 million to date

Mia Mueller

Dereth Glance, deputy commissioner for Environmental Remediation and Materials Management at the state DEC, visited RIT last week to help announce NYSP2I’s Community Grants Program 2022-23 awardees. The program has supported 129 projects throughout New York state with grants totaling more than $2 million to date. Past projects include green chemistry workshops for students and teachers, homeowner education encouraging environmentally conscious practices, and food waste diversion and education projects.

The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I) has announced selections for its 2022-2023 Community Grants Program as part of the organization’s ongoing efforts to continue improving the health and environmental quality of New York state.

NYSP2I, sponsored by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) through the Environmental Protection Fund and led by Rochester Institute of Technology’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability (GIS), has selected 13 programs following the completion of a competitive review process.

Ultimate awarding of funds to selected projects is subject to standard conditions such as contract fulfillment and availability of funding. The Community Grants Program provides nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, and local governments both financial and technical assistance for projects that promote and implement pollution-prevention practices at the community level.

“We are very pleased with this year’s grant awardees,” said Charles Ruffing, NYSP2I’s director, who was joined by Dereth Glance, deputy commissioner for Environmental Remediation and Materials Management at the state DEC, in announcing the awards. “These projects cover key areas in public education on pollution prevention, and I’m especially gratified with the increasing emphasis on work affecting underserved communities.”

“We congratulate all of this year’s selected programs,” Ruffing added. “We are pleased to partner with these organizations in this work that is vital to our ongoing mission to provide a statewide, comprehensive program of solutions for complex environmental problems.”

“The (New York State) Pollution Prevention Institute is the wisest place to invest resources in order to make a difference in the future,” Glance said. “We're ready for the circular economy. It’s far past time to change the make-take-toss system and the folks at P2I are on the front line making this happen.”

The selected proposals include:

  • ADKAction, “Compost for Good,” whose project goal is to improve the health, environmental quality, and economic vitality of communities across New York state by increasing rates of on-farm compost generation and application.
  • Bedford2030, “Community Vehicle Reduction Tool,” will create a tool that will enable Bedford community members to easily access information on the impact of their own vehicle emissions as well as personalized resources to support them to make the switch to an electric vehicle, reduce vehicle miles traveled, and lower their impact.
  • Cayuga Lake Watershed Network, “Cayuga Lake: Pollution Prevention Public Outreach and Education” is designed to increase awareness and understanding of pollution prevention within the Cayuga Lake Watershed by creating and disseminating actionable educational materials to all stakeholders through a new collaborative working partnership between the Grantee, Cayuga Lake Watershed Network (CLWN) and the Partner, Discover Cayuga Lake (DCL).
  • Corn Hill Waterfront and Navigation Foundation, “Environmental Education on the Genesee River” (E2GR). The project goal is to engage underserved Rochester City School District students, families, and teachers in active, hands-on place-based citizen science that connects classroom learning to real-world experience. Additionally, to increase participants’ knowledge of the causes and effects of Genesee River pollution and measures to prevent it; build their capacity for water-quality testing and data analysis; inspire community activism; and expand their knowledge of the careers and occupations related to pollution prevention and environmental stewardship.
  • Clean and Healthy NY, “Advancing Community Solutions for a Just, Nontoxic, Regenerative Society” will advance pollution prevention and bring the concepts of a just, nontoxic, regenerative society to work being done in the city of Albany, and to increase awareness about existing problems, understanding integrative solutions, and to develop a vision for how projects in the city of Albany can pursue this goal.
  • FABSCRAP, “Sample Overhaul and Audit Project” (SOAP), will conduct a three-phase, industry-deep systemic evaluation of, and identify alternatives to, the wasteful practice of fabric samples and their associated packaging. A whitepaper report containing the research findings and recommendations to the industry stakeholders also will be published.
  • Greater Patchogue Foundation, “Earth Day Eco Fair.” The project goal is to host an Eco Fair that aims to address issues related to the coastal community of Patchogue, where pollution prevention issues are prevalent in its waterways. The Eco Fair will promote best practices for protecting the environment through education and providing the tools for Patchogue residents to implement at home.
  • Green Inside and Out, Inc., “Food Scrap Recycle Long Island” will help two Long Island towns pioneer the establishment of food scraps recycling and assist with backyard compost programs. Additionally, the objective is to divert as much food waste as possible from incineration and landfills, and to create a replicable model that can be followed by other townships on Long Island.
  • Hutchinson River Restoration Project, “Clearing garbage from the Hutchinson River Shoreline.” The project’s goals are to characterize areas and causes of shoreline pollution on the Hutchinson River and determine administratively and practically how the areas can be best restored; to increase active participation in debris clean-up activities along the river at all levels; and to expand public awareness in communities alongside the Hutchinson River and its watershed through community meetings, newsletters, news releases, and the collaboration and information exchanges with like-minded groups.
  • NYC Soil & Water Conservation District, “Green Infrastructure on Private Properties Outreach and Education.” The project will more widely disseminate information on green infrastructure and stormwater management regulations and incentives for private property owners in New York City. In doing so, they will focus on outreach and education in partnership with “community leaders”—people who represent private property owners whether through community boards, associations (e.g., home owners associations), or other entities (e.g., business improvement districts).
  • Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, “Snug Harbor Community Composting for Staten Island, is designed to reduce the amount of trash entering the waste stream and lower the amount of methane and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere through expanding organic waste collection and processing. Various food scrap drop off sites in neighborhoods across Staten Island will be made available, and there will be a focus on engagement with community partners to train and educate young people from under-served communities about the importance of recycling as a strategy for a healthier planet.
  • Starflower Experiences, “Sustainable Wyandanch Internships.” The project goal is to educate and train student-interns, ages 14-21, who live within the Wyandanch School District. Interns will be empowered to be advocates through training to understand what a healthy, sustainable community might look like and take actions to make changes that will make a difference in the health of their community.
  • Syracuse University-Center for Sustainable Community Solutions, “Developing Reuse Opportunities for NYS Communities” will research the challenges and opportunities for implementing reuse programs and foster the expansion of model reuse initiatives and best practices for communities throughout New York state. This project will support the goal of P2I’s Community Grants Program by helping to increase the adoption of materials reuse programs, which will keep valuable and usable items in productive use and prevent them from entering the waste stream.

NYSP2I’s Community Grants Program has supported 129 projects throughout New York state with grants totaling more than $2 million to date. Past projects include green chemistry workshops for high school students and teachers, homeowner education encouraging environmentally conscious practices, and food waste diversion and education projects.

The next Community Grants Program request application will be announced in spring of 2023.

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