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Three Rhode Island Organizations Awarded EPA Grants To Promote Healthy Communities & Environmental Education

Release Date: 11/15/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: David Deegan (, EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1017

For Immediate Release: November 15, 2005; Release # dd051109

(Providence, RI) - Two projects in Rhode Island were awarded grants supporting healthy, livable and safe communities, while another Bay State project won a grant for an environmental education initiative for elementary and middle-school aged students. The total EPA funding for the three efforts is nearly $70,000.

“Investing in local environmental health is an investment in our children and their future,” noted Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Here in Rhode Island, EPA is working to protect and improve the environment so all children can breathe clean air, drink clean water and live and learn in homes and schools that are free from environmental risks.”

The EPA grants are being given to the Southside Community Land Trust, the Southern Rhode Island Conservation District and Groundwork Providence. The three groups are each involved in work to help improve the quality of life for local residents. Specifically, the rants will fund the following projects:

Southside Community Land Trust is being awarded $30,000 under an EPA regional Healthy Community grant. The organization has designed a program called “Healthy Soil-Healthy Food Through Urban Agriculture Project” that will provide comprehensive education and training to low-income urban gardeners, youth and the general public to assess lead pollution, improve urban garden soils and grow food safely using IPM (integrated pest management) methods.

Southern Rhode Island Conservation District, also the recipient of a $30,000 EPA Health Community grant, will implement a project called “Three Sisters, Many Tribes, One People.” This effort is also designed to teach sustainable urban food production strategies, but will specifically target working with the urban Indigenous American community of Providence.

Groundwork Providence is receiving an EPA environmental education grant of $9,497. With these monies, the group will work to promote green space and work with underserved high school youth to implement sustainable tree stewardship programs for elementary and middle school students and neighborhood groups around the schools where they live.

In 2003, EPA New England initiated the Healthy Communities Grant Program to join together resources from nine separate programs, in order to more strategically address environmental issues affecting public health. The grant program competitively identifies top quality community-based projects that will achieve measurable environmental and human health improvements in communities across New England.

Healthy Communities Grants are targeted to invest action in environmental justice areas of potential concern, places with high risks from toxic air pollution, service sensitive populations, and/or are urban areas. The broad areas intended to be addressed include: Assistance & Pollution Prevention: Schools Sector; Asthma; Children's Environmental Health; Community Air Toxics; Pesticides; Smart Growth; Tools for Schools; Toxics; and the Urban Environmental Program. More information on EPA New England’s Healthy Community Grants is available at:

Related Information:
UEP Community Grants Program
Air Enforcement