Two Missouri Community-Based Organizations Each Awarded $120K in EPA Funding to Address Environmental and Public Health Issues in Underserved Communities
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Lenexa, Kan., Oct. 28, 2020) - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $2.1 million in cooperative agreements awarded to 18 organizations working to address environmental justice issues in their communities. Each organization will receive $120,000 over two years under the EPA Office of Environmental Justice’s Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program.
This program provides funding to support community-based organizations in their efforts to collaborate and partner with local stakeholder groups, as they develop and implement community-driven solutions that address environmental and/or public health issues for underserved communities. Two organizations in EPA Region 7 have been awarded funding.
“We are pleased to support the work of the Heartland Conservation Alliance and Beyond Housing Inc. These two projects represent strong examples of Region 7’s support of capacity building and meaningful engagement of communities who are directly impacted by pollution," said EPA Region 7 Administrator Jim Gulliford. "The collaborative problem-solving cooperative agreements for which we have announced funding today will allow these communities to focus on improving their air and water quality, while emphasizing partnerships and youth involvement. We are looking forward to working with these organizations to achieve tangible and sustainable results.”
Cooperative Agreements are being awarded to the following organizations in EPA Region 7:
Heartland Conservation Alliance, Kansas City, Missouri, will receive $120,000 for the project Action for a Healthy Blue River Watershed: Heart of the City Assessment and Restoration. This project will work with underserved community residents of Kansas City, who experience extreme poverty and disproportionate environmental health impacts from an unhealthy and polluted watershed, to design a reuse plan for 40 acres of vacant and forested land. This project aims to increase residents’ access to multiple benefits of green infrastructure; reduce illegal dumping; improve home values; and increase the natural functions of the watershed and urban canopy.
Beyond Housing Inc., St. Louis, will receive $120,000 for the project 24:1 Clear the Air. This project will educate municipal leadership and the general community about the links between air quality, the urban tree canopy and asthma. The 24:1 Community is comprised of low-income, minority-majority municipalities in North St. Louis County. A canopy assessment will be conducted to inform the community about opportunities for tree canopy improvements. The project aims to increase knowledge of residents and municipal tree boards; increase forestry knowledge of interns and volunteers; increase canopy coverage; change policy to improve maintenance of canopy; and decrease asthma-related hospital visits.
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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