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Three Grants Promoting Healthy Communities Given In Vermont
Release Date: 10/20/04
For Immediate Release: October 20, 2004
Contact: David Deegan, 617-918-1017; Release # 04-10-30
BURLINGTON, VT – Three projects in Vermont have been awarded grants totaling nearly $90,000 in order to build on ongoing environmental and public health initiatives. The grants, awarded by EPA’s New England office through the Healthy Communities Grant Program, were among 23 selected in New England. The programs getting these funds all aim to support a goal of creating healthy, livable and safe communities.
Grants of $30,000 each were awarded to the Vermont Forum on Sprawl and to the Vermont Department of Health. A grant of $27,318 was awarded to the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College.
"Just as New Englanders strive to promote clean air and water, open space and a healthy environment in our communities, these motivated groups are doing work that helps to achieve those goals" commented Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA’s New England office. "The Healthy Community grants being awarded today are intended to build on good work already underway, to help community partners create healthier and safer environments for all citizens."
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.
"We're so pleased EPA sees the value in this innovative project," said Evan Goldsmith, project manager and Associate Director of the Vermont Forum on Sprawl. "Partnering with the Sustainable Schools Project and Barnes and Champlain teachers, we're empowering students to play a leadership role in community planning to improve their health and quality of life."
The grants went to the following recipients in Vermont for these projects:
- Vermont Forum on Sprawl ($30,000) – This Burlington-based coalition is working to both raise awareness and effect urban design strategies that avoid undesirable attributes, such as unwalkable neighborhoods and auto-only road designs. By seeking non-automobile transportation solutions to urban living, the Forum on Sprawl is also helping to address ailments such as childhood obesity, asthma and diabetes. The Forum on Sprawl is also working with local school children to help them understand and evaluate urban design, raising awareness of issues such as traffic planning, green space, public transportation options, and individual physical activity.
The Vermont Department of Health ($30,000) – The state agency is working to implement a “Vermont Healthy Schools - Tools for Schools” program. The Vermont program works with school districts to address indoor and outdoor air quality issues that affect school children. To date, this initiative has trained more than 100 school teams. This project will allow the resource team to expand on past successes, with another 60 teams now slated to be trained.
University of Vermont and State Agricultural College ($27,318) – UVM researchers are working to develop a Water Quality Monitoring and Education Curriculum, to help address the fact that surface waters in Burlington are impaired by storm water and runoff-related bacteria. Because public education is seen as a critical tool for reducing urban surface water pollution, this new project will not only develop an educational program but will pilot the initiative with Burlington middle school students. Key components will include student monitoring of water quality indicators, such as nutrients, optical brighteners, E. coli and macroinvertibrates. Data will be verified by the University’s water quality laboratory.
Tools for Schools
UEP Community Grants Program
Water Topics-- Clean Water Act, water