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Springfield, Mass. Non-Profit Awarded $20,000 Environmental Justice Grant

Release Date: 03/26/2009
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – March 26, 2009) – The Spanish American Union of Springfield, Mass., in collaboration with Groundwork Springfield, is one of four community-based organizations to be awarded a $20,000 Environmental Justice Grant for its work on the “What’s Bugging You?” project.

The “What’s Bugging You?” project aims to work collaboratively with partners to raise awareness and reduce health hazards and risks from pesticides for families living in public housing developments in Springfield. The project will target local youths as agents for providing education, outreach and encouraging actions to improve the quality of indoor environments in public housing establishments. Some of the project’s primary goals are to reduce exposure to pesticides, encourage integrated pest management and reduce asthma triggers for families most at risk.

“This grant money will help these local community groups to achieve important goals in protecting people’s health,” said Ira. W. Leighton, acting regional administrator of EPA’s New England office.

The Spanish American Union is a community-based organization committed to empowerment, education and action with the goal of achieving individual, community and institutional change. It was one of several organizations that worked together to form Groundwork Springfield, a local initiative that is part of a nationwide program to help promote environmental, economic, and social well-being of communities.

Patricia Moss, the project director of Groundwork Springfield commented, “We are just small-town people trying to help our city come back to life without duplicating efforts and that is what Groundwork Springfield is doing through urban environmental work funded by EPA’s grant.”

The Environmental Justice Small Grants Program was established in 1994 with the purpose of providing financial support and empowerment to communities that are working on local solutions to local environmental and/or public health issues. The long-term goals of the Program are to help build the capacity of the affected community and create self-sustaining, community-based partnerships that will strive to improve environmental conditions in underserved communities.

More information:
EPA’s Environmental Justice Small Grants Program (http://www.epa.gov/compliance/environmentaljustice/grants/ej-smgrants.html)