Energy and dollar savings for churches in Phoenix, gardens for people and wildlife in rural Colorado, and restored habitat for the threatened American eel in the Hudson River are just three expected results of the 44 projects receiving a total of $1.1 million in the latest round of TogetherGreen Innovation Grants. This will mark the fourth year ofTogetherGreen funding to facilitate people-powered conservation action in urban, suburban, and rural areas. Taking place in 27 states, these projects are selected for innovation; potential gains in habitat, water, and energy conservation; and opportunities to engage new audiences in protecting the environment. TogetherGreen is funded by a $20 million grant from Toyota over five years.
“Never underestimate ingenuity and innovation. The approaches that will help us tackle the enormous environmental challenges confronting us today are going to come from unlikely and unpredictable places,” said Audubon President David Yarnold. “Each Innovation Grant project is an opportunity for Audubon to partner with local organizations to test and implement creative approaches to build healthier communities and achieve significant conservation results. And as our alliance with Toyota shows, when organizations work together, we can exponentially magnify our impact.”
Since 2008, the TogetherGreen Innovation Grants program has awarded over $4.7 million to more than 160 environmental projects nationwide. The 2011 awardees are receiving grants ranging from $5,000 – $50,000. Funds were awarded to partnerships, mostly between Audubon groups (local Chapters or programs of Audubon’s large national network) and organizations in their communities. This year’s grant projects involve more than 150 partner organizations nationwide. Many of the projects focus on engaging audiences that have traditionally been under-served by the conservation movement, from urban youth to rural ranchers.