Climate Change Innovation Funds
The City has awarded five grants of up to $10,000 each to help local neighborhoods and organizations fund creative ways to engage residents to fight global warming. This follows up on the twenty $1000 grants the City gave out in June. These dollars come out of the $120,000 that Mayor Rybak put in the 2007 budget, which I and my environmental allies on the Council had to defend against moves to reallocate for other purposes.
My office has been deeply involved in this process, from the initial conversations with CM Benson and Mayor Rybak in the Health Energy and Environment Policy Meetings early this year to my Aide Robin's participation on the grant application review committee.
The grants will not only energize Minneapolis groups, residents, and businesses to take action, but each of the efforts funded by the grants is a learning opportunity. The grant awardees and the City will all benefit by learning how different approaches work to engage the community to combat global climate change.
The grant awardees are:
Seward/Longfellow Neighborhoods. The grant will be used to fund an “Inconvenient Truth” kickoff event, compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) distribution, Minneapolis Energy Challenge (MEC) promotion, “Ask me what I am doing about Climate Change” lawn signs, an electric lawn mower sharing program, and a programmable thermostat swap. Partners include the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs, Welna II Hardware and Riverview Theater.
Linden Hills Power and Light. The grant will help support 80 volunteers going door to door engaging citizens about MEC and energy conservation, CFL distribution and an interactive website/blog.
Alliance for Sustainability. The grant will be used to target at least 50 block clubs to host different types of energy conservation block parties, providing kits, fact sheets, door hangers, DVDs, free CFLs, and guest speakers.
Lyndale Neighborhood. The grant will help the neighborhood target homeowners, renters, and businesses through newspaper articles, ads, and workshops, to educate them about the MEC and energy conservation. The funding will also help buy down the cost of energy audits and provide matching grants for energy improvements.
Bakken Museum. The grant will pay for a “Sustainable Electricity for the 21st Century” interactive exhibit and programming including MEC promotion, an energy conservation skit, ads, family activities and a Fall Energy Forum.
For more information on these grants, visit the City’s Sustainability Initiatives site here.
Congratulations to Seward and Longfellow for their successful grant. I look forward to seeing how much energy and money this sort of effort can help Minneapolis residents save, and, if we can prove that we are successful, I will be inclined to continue to support funding this great initiative in future years.