NYSP2I selects 12 awardees for 2023-2024 Community Grants Program

Statewide initiative has supported 159 projects totaling $2.6 million to date

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As part of its ongoing efforts to continue improving the health and environmental quality of New York state, the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute has announced selections for its 2023-2024 Community Grants Program.

The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I) has announced selections for its 2023-2024 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 12 projects 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, which cover essential areas of pollution prevention through beneficial community projects, outreach, and education,” said Nabil Nasr, NYSP2I’s interim director. “I’m especially gratified with the increased emphasis on work affecting environmental justice communities and underserved populations.”

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

The selected proposals include:

  • Chemung County Planning Department, “Food Scrap Drop-Off Pilot Program.” This project’s goal is to support the creation of a pilot program that will support residents and communities within Chemung County by having drop-off sites located in the city and town of Elmira, the town of Southport, the village of Elmira Heights, and the town and village of Horseheads. Funds will assist in the purchase of resident bins and educational materials, garbage totes, bin storage units, educational events and demonstrations, and pick-ups from sites throughout the pilot’s duration.
  • Uptown and Boogie Healthy Project, “Bronx Community Compost Project and Education,” which aims to set up a food scrap drop-off site in the Bronx, N.Y. The project will address several pollution-prevention topics, including reducing the amount of organic waste sent to landfills, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, and promoting sustainable agriculture.
  • Susan Christopherson Center for Community Planning/Center for Transformative Action, “Building Circularity Centers from Vacant Schools, Phase II.” This Ithaca, N.Y.-based project seeks to transform suitable vacant public schools in New York state’s 62 counties into sites where building materials can be sorted, stored, and repurposed for reuse.
  • Farmingdale State College (SUNY), “Long Island Sustainability Series (LIS2).” The goal is to educate Long Island residents on how they can reduce and prevent pollution through lecture-style educational programs and/or in-person events. The program will be implemented in partnership with Suffolk Community College (SCCC), with the support of the town of Babylon and the town of Islip.
  • Mohawk Valley Economic Development District Inc., “Homesteader Workshops.” This project’s goal is to educate communities by holding workshops focusing on pollution-prevention topics such as promoting the use of non-toxic or less toxic substances, implementing conservation techniques, and reusing and repairing materials instead of putting them into the waste stream.
  • Grassroots Gardens of Western New York, “Rain Barrel Project,” which seeks to implement a water pollution-prevention demonstration project that will address contaminated soil and stormwater runoff and combined sewer overflow in the city of Buffalo. Workshops will be offered to the community in partnership with the Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper.
  • Western NY Sustainable Business Roundtable, “Circular Economy for Small Business.” This project seeks to enhance Western New York-area entrepreneurs’ understanding of the circular economy, educate them about pollution-prevention strategies, and equip them with the tools and resources needed to implement those strategies into their business model.
  • Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency, “Ulster County Tiffin Project,” which is designed to improve public health by raising awareness of potential harm from exposure to chemicals in food takeout containers. The project aims to improve environmental quality by reducing the waste stream by eliminating single-use disposable plastic and paper food packaging.
  • The Art Effect, “Art and Environmentalism in Poughkeepsie.” This project aims to address a number of community needs by encouraging youth to take the lead in using art and public engagement to support awareness and engage and educate the community on pollution prevention.
  • Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition, “Blossoming Through Prevention Education: Implementing Innovative Tools for Behavioral Changes Among Youth.” An expansion of a past project through NYSP2I, this program aims to inspire educational and actionable change among youth to remediate and prevent further harm from toxic exposures, which can be harmful to the environment and lead to the onset of disease later in life.
  • Bangladeshi American Community Development and Youth Services, “Pollution Prevention,” which seeks to empower school students through after-school sessions that will educate them about various topics essential to preventing air and water pollution. Students will be tasked to monitor indoor/outdoor air and water quality and research ways to prevent pollution to combat poor indoor and outdoor air and water quality in East New York of Brooklyn and Ozone Park of Queens.
  • We Future Cycle, “Lunchroom Sorting and Environmental Educational Programming.” This program is designed to maintain and improve the existing lunchroom waste sorting systems in Mt. Vernon and White Plains school lunchrooms while implementing the program in area schools that do not have school lunch recycling programs.

NYSP2I’s Community Grants Program has supported 159 projects throughout New York state with grants totaling $2.6 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. Many of these projects benefited underserved populations in environmental justice communities.

The next Community Grants Program request application will be announced in spring of 2024.

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