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Providence, R.I. Community Gardening Group Shares in EPA Grant

Release Date: 01/19/2006
Contact Information: David Deegan, 617-918-1017

(Boston, 01/19/06) - A Providence, R.I., organization focused on community gardening is among four community groups in New England receiving a total of $100,000 in “Environmental Justice Small Grants.”

The Southside Community Land Trust of Providence received $25,000 to help the Springfield Middle School create a healthy garden on the site of a former municipal solid waste dump. Project partners will plan and build safe, affordable off-ground garden structures, and share the designs so others can use them.

“These EPA grants will help sow the seeds to protect people who live in areas more vulnerable to environmental challenges," said Robert Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England Office. "This grant to the Southside Community Land Trust will result in specific activities that will reduce the risk for students and staff at the Springfield Middle School."

The Southside Community Land Trust, founded in 1981, is dedicated to helping communities become more self-sufficient and to improve their quality of life through community gardening. It also helps provide the community with access to locally grown food. Partners in this project include the Olneyville Community Schools Initiative, the Rhode Island Departments of Health and Environmental Management, City of Providence, Springfield Middle School, The Hartford Park Tenant’s Association and a registered landscape architect.

The grant was given out as part of EPA's Environmental Justice Small Grants program, which was launched in 1994 as a way to help ensure equal environmental protection and equal enforcement of environmental laws and policies for all people, regardless of race, color, national origin, culture or income.

Under the same program, in New England EPA also provided grants to organizations in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont. More information on this program is available at: .

More information on environmental justice issues in New England is available at: .

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