The Overbrook Foundation first started blogging in 2008 and hasn’t turned back since. We feel our blog is an effective means of spreading news that impacts our grantees and program areas, as well as the larger field of philanthropy. Blogging has also increased the visibility of our grantees’ fantastic campaigns and victories, from legal battles to grassroots demonstrations. We encourage you to read the following posts and to add your own comments to ours. Please enjoy (and follow us on Twitter)!
Please help us to improve our website by completing this survey
Hey policy wonks! As you’re furiously scribbling notes on what the incoming De Blasio Administration should focus on – or maybe scarfing organic Lara bars while tweeting your blog post – take a moment to think about where that paper and that wrapper are going – and who they’re profiting and who they’re hurting.
New York City’s recent mayoral election has sparked a flurry of anticipation: many are hopeful that De Blasio’s “Tale of Two Cities” rhetoric will manifest into concrete programs that actually narrow the vast divide between the 1% and the 21% living below the poverty line, while some sectors are wary of how De Blasio’s campaign platforms will affect their operations and bottom lines.
Of course, a new mayor does not mean every initiative of the previous Administration will be tossed into the garbage. In fact, many groups are pushing De Blasio to do just the opposite: not only continue Bloomberg’s push to double New York City’s municipal recycling rates (from the rather meager 15% in 20132, but to focus on the detrimental effects of commercial waste, especially in communities with high rates of poverty.
The below is an excerpt from a press release by Overbrook-supported Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), which describes how cave paintings dating over 4,000 years ago were discovered while researching the life and habitat of the white-lipped peccary in Brazil. The discovery underscores the inextricable relationship between natural ecosystems and cultural heritage. And not to mention, is just really cool.
You can read the full release here.
The Environment Program awarded 17 grants this grant cycle. Of this group, four are for Latin American Biodiversity Conservation, six for Sustainable Consumption & Production, and one for Overbrook’s newest program portfolio: Movement Building. This does not include six pledge grants, three of which are for Latin American Biodiversity Conservation (Amazon Conservation Team, Amazon Watch, People and Plants International), and three for Sustainable Production and Consumption (As You Sow, Forest Ethics, and ioby). Our two new grantees are the Grupo Ecologico Sierra Reserve and the Movement Strategy Center. In total, the Environment Program awarded $410,000 in November to its grantees and $2,012,500 in 2013. The Foundation is extremely proud of the work of all its grantees, and congratulates them on their many and impressive successes!
The “sharing economy” continues to expand in new and exciting ways, and the Hampline in Memphis, Tennessee project is a great example.
The Hampline is a protected bike lane connecting Overton Park and Shelby Farms Greenline in Memphis, part of the national Bikes Belong Green Lane Project. It will include two-way protected lanes lined with public art, and it’s thought to be the most innovative bicycle infrastructure ever to be built in the U.S.
Apart from increasing greenspace and decreasing traffic, the Hampline represents another step in the evolution of participatory democracy and local decision-making: crowd-sourced civic infrastructure. Continue reading
UPDATE: Long Island Compost Corp. recently submitted plans to build the first to build the first anaerobic digester in the NYC region. The digester can handle up to 120,000 tons of food waste per year, and along with increased recycling and composting, will offer the chance to put a real dent in NYC’s waste stream. So next time you’re throwing out your apple, it could find itself back into your lightbulb. (11/6/2013).
Last week, the New York City Department of Education (DOE) issued a request for proposals for compostable plates, which would replace styrofoam plates and trays in almost 1250 schools – the largest school system in the country. The elimination of the substance in the waste stream will in turn allow the DOE to begin composting on a much wider scale. Previously, styrofoam’s ubiquity and tendency to easily disintegrate thwarted attempts to scale-up composting initiatives.
This announcement heralds a rapid change of pace from Continue reading