Green Grants

Environmental or “green” initiatives abound. These initiatives articulate deep concerns about the earth’s well-being: from global climate changes to the extinction of rare species. Consequently, concerned people are asking questions, and seeking resolutions to environmental concerns.

Green Grants” address these environmental concerns. Such grants are available at the federal level, as well as at the state, county and city levels. Foundations, too, fund such initiatives. These entities fund environmental education, wetland preservation and/or remediation, “green” technologies that reduce carbon emissions or provide alternate energy sources, establish wilderness areas, support survival of rare and endangered species, or involve toxic or pollutant clean-ups such as lead abatement or arsenic removal. As one reads this list, it becomes clear that going “green” is more than just a passing fad…it is becoming a way of life throughout most of the world.

The problem, of course, is identifying sources of funding that will support environmental initiatives. It is one thing to list federal, state, county, city or foundations as possible funders; it is a whole other thing to know what these entities do and do not fund in regards to environmental concerns.

At the federal level, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sponsors a Grants Program that, in its own words, “supports environmental education projects that enhance the public’s awareness, knowledge, and skills to help people make informed decisions that affect environmental quality.” Grants are awarded each year based on funds appropriated by Congress. Annual funding for the program ranges between $2 and $3 million. In addition, the EPA administers the Environmental Justice Small Grants Program. This program provides funds to community-based organizations, local and tribal entities that work with communities facing environmental justice issues. The Department of Labor administers grants that provide funds that prepare targeted populations to meet the needs and challenges of the United States’ expanding green businesses.

Technologies exploring “green” energy sources often require significant funding for research and design. Generally, funding derives either at the federal level, if the research meets the criteria established by the overseeing agency, or at the state level. Organizations or individuals interested in accessing state funds should visit the state’s website for information pertaining to green technologies and/or green initiatives. Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, just to name a few, have green grants, and environmental-oriented organizations and individuals need to review all eligibility requirements, and other related guidelines before applying. However, not conducting research at the state level could mean missing out on viable funds that otherwise would not be made available.

Numerous foundations provide funds for green initiatives, especially environmental education and projects. Again, it is important conduct research to determine what foundations support environmental initiatives. Some foundations target certain select environmental concerns that are specific to an area, or ecological habitat. Others only will fund environmental education programs or projects, and still some, will have larger concerns, but only provide funds on a very limited basis. Check the criteria, understand the guidelines, and then, if requirements are met, submit a green grant.

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