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"Healthy Community" Grants Awarded; Guidance Available for 2008 Grants

Release Date: 05/08/2008
Contact Information: Paula Ballentine, (617) 918-1020

Boston, Mass. – May 8, 2008) – Two projects in New England were awarded a total of $70,000 for efforts that will help create healthy communities in the region. The two grants announced today were among 20 projects selected in New England valued at approximately $592,410 through the 2007 Healthy Communities Grant Program.

The Healthy Communities Grant Program is a regionally-designed competition that seeks to fund projects that will reduce environmental risk, protect and improve human health, and improve the quality of life for communities across New England.

The Healthy Communities Grants were given to the following groups:

- The Massachusetts Audubon Society was awarded $35,000 for the "Implementing the Campaign for a Fishable/Swimmable Blackstone by 2015" project. The project will engage the Blackstone River Coalition to sustain a water quality monitoring program and increase education efforts in Worcester, MA and Woonsocket and Pawtucket, RI to reduce the impacts of stormwater and encourage low impact development practices.

- The Medical Foundation was awarded $35,000 for the "Improving Asthma Environmental Management Through Health Care Policy Change" project. The project will support the Asthma Regional Council, focus on addressing the environmental triggers that can exacerbate or cause asthma, increase the supply of and demand for home based environmental education strategies, and share best practices for asthma care work in the region.

The EPA’s Healthy Communities Grant Program was created in 2003 to identify top quality community based projects that will achieve measurable environmental and public health improvements in communities across New England. The Healthy Communities Grant Program is currently accepting initial proposals for projects that range between $5,000-$35,000 that will benefit one or more of the New England states.

In 2008, the Healthy Communities Grant Program is combining resources across nine EPA programs to strategically address the environmental and public health issues burdening New England communities. To be eligible for funding, projects must meet several criteria, including: (1) Be located in and/or directly benefit one or more of the identified Target Investment Areas; and (2) Identify how the proposed project will achieve measurable environmental and/or public health results in one or more of the identified Target Program Areas.

The Target Investment Areas include Environmental Justice Areas of Potential Concern, Places with High Risks from Toxics Air Pollution, Sensitive Populations, and/or Urban Areas. Target Program Areas include: Asthma, Capacity-Building on Environmental and Public Health Issues, Clean Energy, Healthy Indoor/Outdoor Environments, Healthy Schools, and/or Urban Natural Resources and Open/Green Space.

EPA plans to award a total of 10-20 cooperative agreements, ranging from $5,000 to $35,000, based on availability of funding. Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations, local government, public and private universities and colleges, hospitals, state or regional agencies, K-12 schools or school districts and tribes.

There is a two step process for selecting proposals. The program requires the submission of an initial One-Page Project Summary as a first step; then applicants with the highest quality proposals will be invited to submit full proposals for consideration. The deadline for One-Page Project Summaries is May 12, 2008.

For more information: Healthy communities grants ( http://www.epa.gov/ne/eco/uep/hcgp.html )

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