2020 Healthy Communities Grant Program
The Healthy Communities Grant Program is EPA New England's main competitive grant program to work directly with communities to support EPA's "Back-to- Basics" agenda 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 needing to create community resilience, environmental justice areas of potential concern, sensitive populations (e.g. children, elderly, tribes, urban and 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.
To qualify as eligible projects under the Healthy Communities Grant Program, proposed projects must: (1) be located in and/or directly benefit one or more of the Target Investment Areas; and (2) identify how the proposed project will achieve measurable environmental and/or public health results in one or more of the Target Program Areas. Detailed descriptions of the target areas can be found in the application guidance below.
Connecticut Children's Medical Center
Easy Breathing in Schools Project
Summary: The Center will be building off prior experience to increase adoption of an effective program using the new concept of providing a bilingual asthma provider. During the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years the Easy Breathing for Schools (EBfS) program was implemented. The program was a nurse-led asthma program which worked to improve absentee rates and asthma control among children at-risk of future exacerbations. The EBfS program was only adopted in 29% of nurses from 15 schools but despite the low adoption rate, analyses showed that the participants enrolled in EBfS experienced a 26% reduction in absenteeism compared to those not participating in the program. This project builds upon the relationship with Hartford Public Schools in improving asthma outcomes among Hartford schoolchildren by implementing a designated bilingual asthma educator to guide school nurses in adopting the EBfS program.
Partners: Hartford Public Schools Health Services and Collaborative for Asthma Equity.
Center for EcoTechnology
Wasted Food Solutions New Haven County Phase II Project
Summary: This project is a food recovery initiative designed to work with wasted food generators, including K–12 public and private schools, and commercial generators such as event venues, healthcare facilities, colleges/universities, and hospitality facilities to implement source reduction strategies for wasted food, divert as much edible food to food donation and rescue as possible, and compost/anaerobically digest what cannot be donated. This project will implement wasted food reduction and diversion programs by using outreach and delivering technical assistance to 5-10 New Haven County schools and businesses. This project will also increase the county’s capacity to feed the food insecure and divert food scraps, while also developing a resource highlighting local success stories. Through technical assistance, outreach, and education, this initiative will help businesses and institutions identify and implement strategies across the EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy.
Partners:Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, South Central Regional Council of Governments, New Haven Food System Policy Division, Blue Earth, Curbside Compost, Action Container Service, and Quantum BioPower
Centro de Apoyo Familiar
Healthy Families Healthy Homes Project
Summary: Cento de Apoyo Familiar was awarded $35,000 for their "Healthy Families Healthy Homes" project. This project will conduct outreach and educational activities that will result in better outcomes, improved health, reduce the use of toxic chemicals in homes and reduce childhood exposure to harmful chemicals, asthma triggers, lead, and mercury poisoning. Key activities are to include will provide training to 7 faith-based institutions from cities in the states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island serving the Latino population to provide educational workshops in neighborhood churches on factors in the home that affect children's health. Participants will learn about household chemicals, lead poisoning, and asthma using low literacy Spanish language materials and a home assessment to assess factors in their homes that affect health including actions they can take themselves to address unhealthy conditions in their homes. The project anticipates great outcomes by first preparing church promotoras for a lifetime of environmental leadership, and second develop community capacity to address environmental issues in their homes and city.
Partners: Centro de Apoyo Familiar
University of Massachusetts Lowell
Lean Manufacturing and Pollution Prevention Project
Summary: University of Massachusetts Lowell was awarded $33,226 for their "Lean Manufacturing and Pollution Prevention in the Food and Beverage Sector for Healthy Communities" project. This project seeks to help food and beverage processors and manufacturers identify, adopt and measure the results of P2 changes in processes, equipment and behavior by learning and applying Lean manufacturing principles and tools. Key activities include recruiting representatives from at least ten food and beverage facilities in two economically struggling regions of Massachusetts and train those representatives in Pollution Prevention (P2) and Lean manufacturing principles.
Partners: Mount Wachusett Community College, the Massachusetts Food Association, and GBMP Inc.
Revitalize Community Development Corporation
Holyoke Healthy Homes Pilot Project
Summary: This project will support the implementation of its Holyoke Healthy Homes Pilot (HHHP) project. This pilot will combine Revitalize Community Development Corporation's (RCDC) home assessment and remediation program with Holyoke Medical Center's existing asthma home visit intervention program, while adding data management and technical support. The goal of the HHHP project is to serve low-income adults and families with school-age children to assess and remediate in-home asthma triggers and provide asthma treatment education to improve the health and well-being of these families. The project will conduct home visits and create individualized remediation plans for each home. The health of adults and children in Holyoke, MA will be improved by creating greater understanding of the importance of specific behavioral strategies at home to influence exposure to environmental triggers and make home repairs that will reduce asthma exacerbations.
Partners: Holyoke Medical Center, Revitalize Community Development Corporation, Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts, Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition, and the National Green & Healthy Homes Initiative Network
Codman Square Community Neighborhood Development
Energy Retrofit Program
Summary: Codman Square Community Neighborhood Development Corporation's (CSNDC) Energy Retrofit Program will include residential and small business outreach, education, assessments, and retrofits to improve energy use in the neighborhood of South Dorchester. CSNDC will build upon long-standing relationships with residents and small business owners in the area to ensure successful program outcomes. CSNDC will design multi-lingual informational materials and host bi-lingual training events while improving outreach to residents and small business owners and refer participants who express interest in formal retrofit assessment to agency partners and licensed contractors. By educating residents and small business owners about the value of an energy retrofit audit this project will help community constituents save money on their energy bills that could be dedicated to other key needs and will improve the overall understanding of participants on their impact on the environment.
Partners: All In Energy and Lime Energy
Clean Water Fund
Get Lead Out of Drinking Water in Massachusetts Project
Summary: Clean Water Fund (CWF) project will advance the goal of Healthy Indoor Environments by working in Malden and Chelsea, Massachusetts to address the problem of lead in drinking water. This project will collaborate with local communities, water departments, and municipal governments to conduct outreach and education, identify lead service lines (LSLs), and develop municipal action plans for removing them. Outputs will include community meetings, door to door outreach, fact sheets, and other printed materials highlighting lead exposure reduction tips and instructions for how to assess whether or not you have a LSL. This project will also conduct analysis to identify other municipalities in Target Investment Areas that are in most need of support for LSL replacement and select one to begin the early phases of outreach. As a result, residents of Malden and Chelsea will be more aware about the impacts of lead exposure and knowledgeable about how to reduce exposure in situations where removing the source is not immediately possible. In those communities the removal of LSLs and the creation of accurate inventories will eventually lead to communities where not a single house is connected to a LSL--something that will serve not only the current population of residents, but anyone who moves to rent or own these homes for generations to come
Partners: GreenRoots, Cambridge Health Alliance, Mystic River Watershed Association, and local universities.
Keene State College
Wood Smoke Pollution Management in Keene, NH Project
Summary: Keene State College was awarded $25,000 for their project titled "Wood Smoke Pollution Management in Keene NH". This project seeks to improve community capacity to understand and solve environmental problems, improve communication of predicted local air inversion, and improve air quality during winter air inversions. They also seek to expand upon existing collaborative partnerships to better understand and communicate the complex factors contributing to poor wintertime air quality in Keene, NH, and incentivize public action to reduce wood burning during localized air inversions, thereby improving ambient air quality and public health. Project activities include increase public access to information on woodsmoke health impacts, BurnWise principles, and real-time PM2.5 concentrations.
Lakes Region Planning Commission
The WoTu Sustainability Cooperative; Community Food Systems Project
Summary: Lakes Region Planning Commission was awarded $34,658.80 for their "The WoTu Sustainability Cooperative; Community Food Systems" project. This project will provide training and assistance to help a group of New Hampshire summer camps further develop their camper-directed sustainable food systems program and expand its program into the community, specifically in Wolfeboro and Tuftonboro, NH (WoTu). This project will benefit not only the disadvantaged and minority youth that attend the summer camps but will also help local community members who are facing food security challenges. Key activities will include providing the tools and resources to cultivate the campers and staff's knowledge about growing and eating healthy will result in developing their understanding of our food system and the importance of closed-loop systems. This program will also provide technical assistance to support EPA's Food Recovery Hierarchy by reducing, diverting, and minimizing wasted food and other recyclable commodities generated on-site at camp, as a way of aiding pollution prevention and climate change impacts contributed by our food system.
Partners: North Woods/Pleasant Valley YMCA CampS, Camp Sentinel and Camp Merrowvista, Solar Saints Initiative/Food Pantry at All Saints Episcopal Church, Tuftonboro Agricultural
Center for EcoTechnology
Wasted Food Solutions Providence County Phase II Project
Summary: This project will reduce the quantity of wasted food entering the municipal solid waste (MSW) stream by working with target wasted food generators, including K-12 schools, event venues, healthcare facilities, colleges/universities, hospitality facilities, and food rescue and donation organizations. CET and partners will develop new opportunities through strategic outreach to target food waste generators through mailings, presentations, and e-newsletter communications. CET will work to establish 5-10 new diversion programs in Providence County. They will work to create a resource showcasing local best management practices across the hierarchy by producing a document highlighting local success stories. Lastly, CET will increase the County's capacity to rescue and divert food scraps by convening an information sharing meeting for service providers and disseminating food waste diversion information and resources.
Partners: Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM), The Rhode Island Food Policy Council, The Compost Plan and Rhodeside Revival, GroundWorkRI, and the Providence Office of Sustainability
Childhood Lead Action Project
Blackstone Valley Compliance Project
Summary: Childhood Lead Action Project was awarded $35,000 for their "Blackstone Valley Compliance" project. This project seeks to reduce the incidence of lead poisoning through community education, resident leadership development, policy development, lead poisoning prevention activity coordination with state and local enforcement officials and lead abatement funders; and the creation of a new policy to keep previously abated rental properties in compliance with lead laws long-term in Pawtucket and Central Falls, RI. Key project activities include developing community-level environmental leadership and capacity by facilitating community lead compliance project steering committee; increase local families' ability to reduce lead hazards in the home by providing lead poisoning prevention trainings to parents and their childcare providers.
Partners: Blackstone Valley Community Action Program, City of Central Falls, City of Pawtucket, Rhode Island Department of Health, Rhode Island Housing
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
Rhode Island Schools Recycling Club - Get Food Smart Rhode Island Project
Summary: The Department has identified K-12 schools that will not meet the criteria of the Rhode Island Food Waste Ban identified in pending legislation. The RI Schools Recycling Club will work to increase food diversion in the schools, building off a proven track record. The RISRC plans to recruit schools, and engage students, teachers, parents, and other stakeholders who want to join its cause to develop and implement sustainable solutions to reduce the amount of wasted food in schools, thereby diverting food waste from the State's central landfill. The project will work to offer technical assistance to 5-10 RI schools from urban, rural, and suburban districts to participate in EPA's Food Recovery Challenge (FRC) to develop quantifiable metrics for their programs and to report those to the FRC. RISRC will develop a Food Waste Reduction Toolkit for RI schools in which students, teachers, and other stakeholders can find best practices, case studies, and links to leading organizations and experts in the domains of source reduction, food recovery, donation and food waste diversion.
Partners: RI Schools Recycling Club, foodSCAPE, Earth Care Farm, My Blue Heaven Pig Farm, Center for EcoTechnology, RI Resource Recovery Corporation, American Organics, and Environmental Council of RI Education Fund