Bradley Street Bicycle Co-op: The Bradley St. Bicycle Co-op (BSBC) has been awarded three grants (2018, 2019 and 2020 for a total of $20,515) from the Greater New Haven Green Fund to develop pop-up repair clinics for bicycles, give out bikes and employ local mechanics ranging in age from 15-21. BSBC mechanics help record surveys, fix bikes, and explain the health and sustainable benefits of bike riding and promote green space rides. These young mechanics develop their skills at BSBC, which can lead to more confidence, a future job and a sense of belonging in the New Haven community. By 2020 BSBC had established its own 501 c 3 non profit status.
Pop-up repair clinics were erected at the Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS) and the Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC). Through these sites, BSBC seeks to empower the New Haven community by teaching people valuable skills, in both repairing bikes and building relationships. The clients at CMHC value the work being done by BSBC. After receiving their grant, BSBC leaders said they frequently went on group rides ranging from 4-10 people up the Farmington Canal Trail, which runs through Chesire and Hamden. BSBC’s goal is to maximize the number of bikes on the road. BSBC is always looking to give used bikes a new home. for bikes to get a new home. If you’re interested in donating a bike, visit BSBC.CO. They’re always accepting bikes and will find your old one a happy home!
Booker T. Washington Academy & Metropolitan Business Academy: The Greater New Haven Green Fund awarded two microgrants in 2019 to support special environmental projects at two schools, the Metropolitan Business Academy and the Booker T Washington Academy. The Biology curriculum teacher at the Metropolitan Business Academy tasked her students with designing a month-long research and experimental testing project to demonstrate the effect of climate on their specific chosen ecological factor. The students were then to propose a viable solution to be presented to the public as a poster demonstration at the Eco Fair, held at the school. Our $1,000 grant was used to purchase supplies for the student demonstrations as well as offer some small prizes to the public that attended. In the past the teacher used her own funds to support the Eco Fair. The Booker T Academy is a K-4 charter school that started in 2014 and has gradually expanded a grade level each year with the ultimate goal of becoming a K-8 charter school. Their students come from Newhallville, Dixwell, Fair Haven, the Hill and the West End. The $870 grant was used for an environmental education project to create compost bins and raised beds while teaching the students about recycling, decomposition and caring for the environment.
Photo courtesy of solaryouth.org
Solar Youth: From 2011 to 2019, Solar Youth, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering young people, received five grants from the Greater New Haven Green Fund. In 2011, the Greater New Haven Green Fund awarded $10,000 to Solar Youth to support the expansion of their Citycology program. Solar Youth hired and trained 36 Youth Educator Interns who delivered hands-on environmental education programming to youth between the ages of 4 and 8. Teen Youth Educator Interns worked with Citycology participants and designed their own Community Service Action Projects to improve their communities and environment. In 2012, the GNHGF awarded $10,000 to Solar Youth to support Youth Led Exploration and Restoration in the Pond Lily Nature Preserve. Solar Youth provided over 50 hours of professional development training to 10 Youth Educator Interns who delivered curriculum in Solar Youth’s West Hills programs on a range of environmental education topics within the context of Pond Lily exploration and community service.
In 2014, Solar Youth was awarded $10,000 to fund the Long Island Sound Leaders in Training. This program was designed to create a pipeline of stewards and environmental educators, drawn from the neighborhoods they serve, in order to preserve and protect the Sound.
Solar Youth revived another grant in 2017 to help fund the Beaver Pond Stewardship Initiative. This program reached 30 children, ranging in age from 4-13. Solar Youth used the Beaver Pond as a way to introduce the participants to the importance of taking care of the environment.
In 2019, Solar Youth received another grant to support their green jobs initiative, which focused on environmental justice, as well as youth entrepreneurship. They started their program in spring 2020, under the theme, “Perseverance.” The focus of this program was to support the interns in developing youth-led projects that would have an impact on their community, including the Garden Project, where three interns started planting garden beds by the Solar Youth office. With help from these grants from the GNHGF, Solar Youth can continue to have an impact on both the community it serves, as well as the youths involved.
Photo courtesy of commongroundct on Flickr
Common Ground High School/ New Haven Ecology Project: In 2012, the Green Fund invested $10,000 to help fund a new generation of environmental leaders at Common Ground High School, to inspire its students to tackle environmental issues in their own community. Among their projects, the students created 20 interpretive signs about trees in the part of West Rock Park adjoining Common Ground’s campus – creating a mini-arboretum for the 10,000 annual visitors to the site. Photos of the project can be found on the link below: https://www.flickr.com/photos/commongroundct/sets/72157631942502847 The biodiversity students took another course that focused on renovating and improving a schoolyard habitat located directly outside the science classrooms. With the help of the GNHGF, the students were able to build bird feeder stations and work with a landscaper to establish rain gardens and an educational wetland on campus. Six senior projects at Common Ground High School chose to tackle food justice issues facing the City of New Haven. Articles on the projects can be found here: https://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/%0barchives/entry/fresh_food_heroes_rescue_ribicoff/
In 2013, the GNHGF awarded a grant of $10,000 to help with two programs: “Kids Unplugged” and “Every Child Outside”. “Kids unplugged” was offered three days each week, for nine weeks in the fall and nine weeks in the spring and connected students in grades K-8 with direct experiences with the farm and forest. “Every Child Outside” bussed children from area schools to the campus at Common Ground for a field trip to directly experience the natural world and offered students the chance to explore exactly where their food comes from. They also tracked animals while learning about conservation efforts. Common Ground High School received another grant in 2015 for $7,000 to start an environmental justice class. The class was taught in spring of 2015 and brought students to different New Haven neighborhoods to identify ecological concerns and problems and create possible solutions. Four teams of four students worked on community-based leadership projects designed to draw attention to environmental justice problems in New Haven neighborhoods.
In 2016 the GNHGF awarded a microgrant to Common Ground High School for a Sustainable Design Video class. They hired a videographer to teach students how to make videos. The students then created videos highlighting the sustainability aspects of their new building on campus as well as their innovative green infrastructure to handle stormwater runoff on their campus. For more information visit: https://commongroundct.org/2016/10/students-investigate-sustainable-design-common-ground/
Greater New Haven Green Fund ℅ The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven // 70 Audubon St // New Haven, CT 06510 // 203-936-8136 // firstname.lastname@example.org