ENVIRONMENT (& EDUCATION) GOAL #1: Assure access to experiential environmental education for public school students that is regular, systematic, integrated with curricula, and connected with “real world” community initiatives such as Grand River restoration, renewable energy & efficiency, water conservation and protection, addressing climate change, wildlife habitat conservation and sustainable food systems.
Illustrative grants: Grand Valley Metro Council – Sustainable agriculture education in Rogue River watershed; City of Grand Rapids Parks and Rec & Grand Rapids Public Schools – “Connecting Children to Nature” partnership at 4 GRPS sites in under-parked neighborhoods; Grand Rapids Public Museum – Pilot augmented reality digital learning platform; Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds – Engage urban youth in projects reducing urban and agricultural run-off pollution of two Grand River watersheds; GREEN – Collaboration of nine environmental education organizations to provide experiential environmental education.
ENVIRONMENT GOAL #2: Develop and implement long-term strategy to restore, protect, and make available for appropriate uses by all the lower Grand River watershed, including restoration of the namesake rapids in downtown Grand Rapids.
Illustrative grants: Michigan Association of Conservation Districts – Build network of support for invasive species control; Michigan League of Conservation Voters – Expand sustained citizen engagement, especially on safe drinking water issues; River Network – Empower Latino community to support restoration and protection of waterways; Ottawa County Parks Foundation – Support multi-use pathway and protecting key natural features from city limits of GR downstream to Grand River mouth at Lake Michigan; West Michigan Environmental Action Council – Green infrastructure in underserved neighborhoods; Land Conservancy of West Michigan – Acquisition of Ottawa Sands property.
ENVIRONMENT GOAL #3: Assure Grand Rapids continues to be a national and international leader in its commitment to sustainable development, i.e. “Economicology.”
Illustrative grants: Michigan Environmental Council – Build statewide equitable clean energy network that includes WMI; Habitat for Humanity – Green home upgrades for affordable housing; Green Home Institute – LEED certification programs for affordable housing projects; Inner City Christian Federation – Upgrade single family affordable homes to certified green homes; Environmental Law & Policy Center – Technical, legal and civic engagement to meet Grand Rapid’s 100% renewable energy goal by 2022 (strong Civic Engagement theme alignment); American Civil Liberties Union Fund of Michigan – Civic engagement through voting modernization (strong Civic Engagement theme alignment); West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum – Equitable sustainability program that addresses racial and economic inequities (strong DEI theme alignment).