Region 1: EPA New England

2016 Healthy Communities Grant Program

The Healthy Communities Grant Program is EPA New England's main competitive grant program to work directly with communities to reduce environmental risks, protect and improve human health and improve the quality of life. The Healthy Communities Grant Program will achieve this through identifying and funding projects that:

  • Target resources to benefit communities at risk [areas at risk from climate change impacts, environmental justice areas of potential concern, sensitive populations (e.g. children, elderly, tribes, urban/rural residents, and others at increased risk)].
  • Assess, understand, and reduce environmental and human health risks.
  • Increase collaboration through partnerships and community-based projects.
  • Build institutional and community capacity to understand and solve environmental and human health problems.
  • Advance emergency preparedness and ecosystem resilience.
  • Achieve measurable environmental and human health benefits.

Application Guidance

2016 Healthy Communities Grant Program (PDF) (37 pp, 450 K, about PDF)

Project Summaries


Center for EcoTechnology
Don't Waste Bridgeport

Summary: The Center of Eco Technology was awarded $25,000 for their "Don't Waste Bridgeport" project. Approximately 20,951 tons of wasted food entered the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) stream in 2013, and Bridgeport has one of the highest rates of wasted food in the state. This project will reduce the quantity of wasted food by working with target wasted food generators in Bridgeport including K-12 public/private schools, venues, grocers, healthcare facilities, colleges/universities, hospitality facilities, and food rescue/donation organizations to reduce, donate, and compost as much wasted food as possible with the ultimate goal of reducing environmental impacts and getting needed food to residents in need.

Partners: Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport (CCGB); Betsy & Jessie Fink Foundation; Community Plates; Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP)

Charter Oaks Communities
Fairgate Farm Community Composting Initiative

Summary: Charter Oaks Communities was awarded $25,000 for their "Fairgate Farm Community Composting Initiative" project. The project will expand the recently launched Fairgate Farm Community Composting Initiative to educate Stamford's West Side residents and businesses about composting by providing one-on-one outreach, hands-on composting demonstrations, and provision of educational resources about the benefits of composting, educating over 1,000 residents community partners, and volunteers. Additionally, the project team will distribute 5 and 50 gallon containers for compost collection and manage weekly compost drop-offs from seven local organizations, diverting 15,000 lbs. of waste from Stamford's waste stream in 2016.

Partners: City of Stamford, the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County, Connecticut Food Bank, Franklin Street Works, New Covenant Center, Schofield Manor, Shop Rite, and Starbucks


Wabanaki Health Wellness
WaYS to Healthy Communities

Summary: Wabanaki Health Wellness was awarded $25,000 for their "WaYS to Healthy Communities" project. The Wabanaki Youth in Science (WaYS) program is multi-pronged model educational program that connects Wabanaki Youth to their environment and their culture in a unique and innovative manner. WaYS establishes a long-term program to engage Wabanaki students in grades 6-12 through cultural heritage and environmental legacy to promote increased learning and engage Native American students. This initiative will meld science and traditional ecological knowledge into an interactive curriculum to develop awareness among tribal youth regarding environmental stewardship as it relates to healthy community ecosystems, land and water. Three key projects will focus on a seasonal "mini-earth" camp for high school students, hosting a week-long camp for high school students and providing mentor/mentee internships at the greenhouses on tribal lands throughout Maine.

Partners: Aroostook Band of Micmacs, Houlton Band of Maliseet, Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point and Indian Township and the Penobscot Nation.


Neighborhood of Affordable Housing
ClimateCARE East Boston

Summary: Neighborhood of Affordable Housing was awarded $15,000 for their "ClimateCARE East Boston" project. East Boston was originally five islands in the Boston Harbor, and is now a peninsula joined by landfill, which makes it especially vulnerable to storm-surge related flooding and released toxic contaminants. ClimateCARE will create a multilingual education and outreach campaign for vulnerable urban coastal residents on preventing exposure to toxics in flood waters by addressing the causes, effects, extent, and reduction of such exposure. Activities include designing and distributing a bilingual (Spanish & English) education materials on climate change environmental impacts to 1,000 homes, conducting a basement toxics clean-out program in 20 homes/businesses, and convening a Adaptive Planning Work Group with 20+ members to address climate change impacts in East Boston.

Partners: BSA Foundation; UMass Boston School for the Environment

North Brookfield Public Schools
NB CARES (Conservation and Reduction Equals Success) About the Environment

Summary: North Brookfield Public Schools was awarded $25,000 for their "NB CARES (Conservation and Reduction Equals Success)" project. The North Brookfield Public School District is comprised of 560 students PreK-12, and is the third smallest independent school district in the state, located in rural north central Massachusetts. NB cares will build upon recent district improvements by expanding a newly created high school Engineering Program from Project Lead the Way to include students in grades 7-12. The district will focus on Environmental Engineering as it implements all new programs, and intends to create a comprehensive educational approach. This project will enable the district to address portions of both the District Improvement Plan and the town's Capital Improvement Plan as it increases environmental education opportunities for students, replaces 124 inefficient faucets, and purchases an environmentally friendly/chemical free floor finisher for the facilities department. The project will reduce the district's facilities expenses which will increase funding available for student services.

Partners: Bay Path Regional Vocational High School

Boston Public Health Commission
Black Hair Salon Project

Summary: The Boston Public Health Commission was awarded $25,000 for their "Black Hair Salon Project". This project will help to improve the quality of the indoor environment in Boston hair salons serving Black women by promoting the use of alternative products and practices to decrease the amount of hazardous chemicals being used. This will result in less indoor/outdoor air pollution from organic solvents and other volatile chemicals due to replacement with alternatives; decreased risk for health impacts for workers due to reduced exposure to chemicals, dust, and injury risks at work; reduction in solid waste and soil/water contamination; and a measurable contribution to improving Boston's environment by reducing adverse health effects (asthma, heart disease, respiratory illness, cancer, etc.) associated with exposure to environmental hazards.

Partners: The Safe Shop; University of Massachusetts (TURI); Massachusetts Healthy Cosmology Committee (HCC); Black Women for Wellness; Epiphany Hair Care Studio; Brandies University; Clean Water Action; Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance (OTA)

Health Resources in Action
Promoting New England Asthma Innovation Collaborative Results: Sustainability and Spread for Asthma Home Visiting in New England

Summary: Health Resources in Action's Asthma Regional Council (ARC) was awarded $25,000 for their "Promoting New England Asthma Innovation Collaborative Results: Sustainability and Spread for Asthma Home Visiting in New England" project. This project will reduce exposure to environmental triggers by promoting broad replication and sustainable financing for asthma home vising services. This project will conduct seven trainings with Accountable Care Organizations across New England to increase regional collaboration and capacity and focus on advancing sustainable financing for asthma home visits. ARC will reach at least 300 people through web based learning and access to evidence-based policies and best practices, research and training. ARC's project will increase capacity so that any New England child with poorly controlled asthma may benefit from asthma home visits, resulting in reduced exposure to environmental asthma triggers and cost-effective asthma control.

Partners: MA: Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) VT, ME, MA, RI, NH, and CT; Boston Children's Hospital; Boston Medical Center; Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition; Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, MA RI: St. Joseph's Health Center; Hasbro Children's Hospital; Thundermist Health Center; CT: Middlesex Hospital; Children's Medical Group; VT: Rutland Regional Medical Center

Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health
Asthma Prevention through Peer Leadership and Engagement in Schools (APPLES) Phase 2

Summary: The Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH) was awarded $25,000 for their "Asthma Prevention through Peer Leadership and Engagement in Schools (APPLES) Phase 2" project. This project benefits children by identifying and eliminating environmental hazards and asthma triggers in schools by integrating environmental health into comprehensive asthma management systems as a new component of the federally-mandated school "Wellness policy". The project focuses on benefitting 13-15 schools in Boston, Brockton, and Lynn with high incidence of pediatric asthma. The project deploys a peer leadership model, training 22-26 youth as peer leaders to achieve measurable reduction of adverse environmental health triggers, improve asthma management, and enhance the school's capacity to address environmental health.

Partners: Healthy Resources in Action (HRiA); Girls Inc. of Lynn, MA; Inspiring Souls Inc.; Massachusetts Asthma AP; Boston Public Schools; Boston Public Health Commission; Brockton Envirothon Team

New Hampshire

The Way Home, Inc.
Healthy Home Peer Education

Summary: The Way Home, Inc. was awarded $25,000 for their "Healthy Home Peer Education" project. Residents in Manchester, NH will benefit from new self-help tools to understand indoor environment and public health risks and ensure landlords complete needed repairs to reduce risks to children and families. This project will provide 50 high risk households with In-home assessments, education, and support services. At least 25 assessments will be completed by the property owners to remediate hazards and/or the relocate families to safer housing. This project will benefit the health and wellness of families and neighborhoods in Manchester. This initiative will help reduce residents' exposure to hazards, empower low-income renters with skills to identify/address healthy home issues, and build alliances for motivating landlords to improve housing conditions.

Partners: Conservation Law Foundation; Granite State Organizing Project; K Kirkwood Consulting; Division of Public Health Services; One Touch; Manchester Health Department (MHD); City of Manchester Lead Hazard Reduction Program; New Hampshire Housing (NHHFA); NH Property Owners Association

Rhode Island - 2016

Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council
Promoting Healthy Urban Land and Water Resources through Education

Summary: The Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council was awarded $25,000 for their "Promoting Healthy Urban Land and Water Resources through Education" project. This initiative aims to connect the urban community with their natural surroundings through environmental education and instilling stewardship through a variety of programming. Efforts targeted to urban youth include: educating 10 teachers on methods of using public city parks and rivers as outdoor classrooms; providing summer nature camps to 150 urban youth aged 6 to 14; hosting a River Adventurers program for 15 urban middle-school students; a Fish in the Classroom programs in two elementary schools for 50 students; and an Environmental Leaders Program to engage 15 high school students. Efforts targeted to educating the general population include: hosting greenway services days to educate 1,000 people on safe use of Woonasquatucket resources and their role in improving them; and conducts the Parks Academy for 20 adults to build and strengthen the capacity of volunteer groups and educators within the city to make parks safer and cleaner.

Partners: Partnership for Providence Parks; Roger Williams Park Zoo; Audubon Society of Rhode Island; Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management; Paul Cuffee Elementary School; Providence After School Alliance; Metropolitan School

Childhood Lead Action Project
Lead-Safe Providence Initiative

Summary: The Childhood Lead Action Project was awarded $XX for their "Lead-Safe Providence Initiative" project. The initiative builds off previous work with the City of Providence who is leading the way as one of the first municipalities in the nation to require RRP compliance. Although the City's new policies are working, there are still gaps in knowledge and practice that must be closed which this project looks to target. Six workshops will be hosted for local tenants to educate them on their right to safe housing and the availability of city policies and available resources. A Lead-Safe Providence committee will be formed with tenants and other stakeholders with 5 committee meetings held and quarterly meetings with city personnel. Two RRFP trainings will be held for Latino renovation and repair specialists to train them on the RRP Rule and lead-safe work practices. Through these efforts, the project seeks to increase the safety of rental properties in Providence's high risk neighborhoods; improve tenant awareness of legal protections and resources available to keep their children safe from lead exposure; increase the lead safety knowledge and expertise of Latino renovation and repair specialists with the ultimate goal of reducing the incidence of childhood lead poisoning in Providence.

Partners: City of Providence; RI Medical-Legal Partnership

Project Officer: Sandy Brownell

Vermont - 2016

Northwest Regional Planning Commission
Addressing Watershed Resiliency & Improving Water Quality through Rural Stormwater Education in Northwestern VT

Summary: The Northwest Regional Planning Commission was awarded $25,000 for their "Addressing Watershed Resiliency & Improving Water Quality through Rural Stormwater Education in Northwestern VT" project. The region includes 23 communities in Franklin and Grand isle Counties and covers 1,200 square miles of land area with all watersheds draining into Lake Champlain, a phosphorus impaired waterbody. This initiative will design and conduct an education and outreach campaign geared to address water quality and climate resilience concerns in rural areas resulting from stormwater, erosion, flow redirection and pollutants. Workshop tools will be created and two workshops will be hosted for landowners on Stormwater Best Management Practices. Train the trainer sessions will then be hosted for each of the 10 Vermont Regional Planning Commissions to share workshop tools with regional and statewide partners. The project is expected to increase public awareness of the inter-relationship between water quality and water quantity and build a greater appreciation and support for stream restoration and protection as well as land management best practices.

Partners: Friends of Northern Lake Champlain; Missisquoi River Basin Association; State of Vermont Agency of National Resources

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