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EPA Region 7 Administrator Participates in KCMO Arbor Day Celebration, Recognizes Giving Grove Environmental Justice Project

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LaTonya Sanders (

Environmental News


EPA seal(Lenexa, Kan., April 21, 2018) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 administrator recognized the Environmental Justice Small Grant Giving Grove project at the city of Kansas City, Missouri’s annual Arbor Day celebration today at the Loose Park Garden Center.

“The Giving Grove is helping to make a real impact on KC communities, not only through orchards, but by helping communities understand and address their exposure to environmental harms and risks,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Jim Gulliford.

Last fall, EPA awarded $30,000 to Kansas City Community Gardens for their Giving Grove project. This project aims for community partners and neighborhood leaders from low-income communities in the urban core of Kansas City to establish 15-20 community orchards on repurposed vacant land. After these orchards reach maturity, they have the potential to produce an average of 3,758 pounds of fresh, organic produce per site for a total of 56,000-75,000 pounds of food on an annual basis. The increase in community fruit trees will also contribute to cleaner air and water by increasing community green infrastructure.

The funding to Kansas City Community Gardens comes from EPA’s Environmental Justice Small Grants (EJSG) Program, which provides critical support to organizations that otherwise lack the funding and resources to address the environmental challenges in their community. The program is designed to help communities understand and address their exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks. Understanding the impacts of multiple environmental risks can help communities develop more effective solutions to their environmental and health concerns. The long-term goals of the EJSG Program are to help build the capacity of the affected community and create self-sustaining, community-based partnerships that will continue to improve local environments in the future.

Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

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