Environment Grants Awarded

At The Overbrook Foundation’s Fall Board Meeting, our Board of Directors approved seven grants to be awarded through the Foundation’s Environment Program.  All seven of these organizations have been previously supported by the Foundation, and with these grants, the Directors have renewed their commitment to the organizations and their missions.

The Overbrook Foundation will award $45,000 to Nature & Culture International for its "Conservation Find for the Establishment and Management of Protected Areas by Municipal Governments in Southern Ecuador." NCI spearheaded the idea of payments for ecosystem services in Ecuador and successfully established a water fund in Lojas, whereby upstream communities are compensated for forest conservation so that downstream urban residents are guaranteed clean drinking water. This win–win proposition is now being expanded into several other municipalities in Ecuador and is a promising tool for ensuring the conservation of some of the world’s most diverse yet highly threatened biodiversity.

The New York Botanical Garden will receive $50,000 for its "Professional Woodsmen for Managed Forests in Amazonian Brazil” initiative. The program helps training courses for woodsmen ("mateiros") in the Brazilian Amazon, which has already graduated dozens of local community members. These woodsmen are trained to distinguish rare and endangered tree species, and are an important counter to the larger timber companies that either misidentify or lump together endangered with non-endangered tree species.

The Story of Stuff Project will receive $40,000 to continue its groundbreaking work examining our relationship with mass consumption and production through its innovative lens. It will produce and distribute two animated movies - The Story of Change and The Story of Solutions, produce and release several PSA-length animated videos, and produce a monthly audio podcast called The Good Stuff. Check it out!

The Overbrook Foundation will give $30,000 to GAIA (the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives) for its programs in the United States and Canada. A truly global grassroots organization, its has seen successes from Malaysia to South Africa to Argentina. In the coming year, GAIA will convene its first Cities Meeting in San Fransisco, using its success as a "Zero Waste" city as inspiration. GAIA will also release a comprehensive report on recycling-worker health and safety. In New York City, GAIA will share its expertise with City government and rally against 'waste-to-energy' incineration plants, currently being explored by the City as a landfill alternative.

The Overbrook Foundation will award $40,000 to Urban Green as it continues to expand its operations in New York City. Urban Green is just over 10 years old, but has already grown to over 1,000 members and 50 corporate sponsors. It founded the NYC Green Codes Task Force, which released its report in 2011 and has already had 30 of its 111 recommendations enacted into law. Urban green also organizes several certification programs and acts as the official provider of USGBC LEED workshops in NYC. law.

Island Press will receive $25,000 to continue its work publishing and disseminating new ideas and tools for environmental problem solving. Its Fall 2012 publishing line-up includes: Corporation 2020; Good Urbanism; Reshaping Metropolitan America; and Transport Beyond Oil. Island Press is also continuing to expand its E-ssentials program, digital-only works that are easily downloadable and short enough to be read in a few hours.

In all, the Overbrook Foundation’s Environmental Program, as directed by the Board, awarded a total of $260,000 in grants.

As always, you can learn more about these grantees on their websites by clicking on their names in this post. Congratulations to these grantees and we look forward to their work promoting rainforest protection and sustainable consumption in the year to come!