“Greater New Bedford and surrounding communities are about to get more climate savvy and enjoy cleaner, greener spaces thanks to nine South Coast organizations and their climate action-based projects.
In honor of Earth Day, recipients of the Earth Day is Every Day grant will be announced on Saturday, April 22nd, before the Southcoast Film Forum screening of Wild Life, at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.
These grants will fund in full or in part initiatives to combat the impact of climate change and pollution.
These grant funds were made available thanks to the efforts of the New Bedford Earth Day 50th Anniversary Committee that was formed in 2020. Plans for the anniversary event were derailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Explained Committee Chair Susan Sargent, “Money raised for the 2020 event has been sitting securely for the last three years with one of our organizing partners, Buzzards Bay Coalition. The Earth Day 50 Committee decided it was time to move that money onward and provide grants to projects that best conform to the spirit in which the donations were made. We are delighted to get the anniversary funds out to these worthy projects.”
Added Buzzards Bay Coalition President Mark Rasmussen, “The Coalition was pleased to support the important work of the Earth Day 50th Anniversary Committee. We were thrilled to see how many ideas were brought forth that focused on developing a healthier and more resilient local environment.”
Several initiatives will tackle climate resiliency and the protection of land and waterways.
The Cape Verdean Association in New Bedford will do so by installing a stormwater management system for Island Park to minimize runoff that takes pollutants and dumps them in Buzzards Bay. Dartmouth Tree Committee and James Arnold Mansion Inc. for tree planting in public spaces and advocacy for trees’ value to the health of the planet. In addition, Friends of Brooklawn Park and Our Sisters’ School will plant pollinators and native plants to provide natural barriers and nitrogen pollution filters. The school’s effort will also include education to inspire their students and families to care about environmental justice and climate resilience.
Climate education is also at the center of the balance of the grant recipients. Climate Reality Massachusetts Southcoast (CRMS) and the Goswold-Cuttyhunk Climate Action Network will further their dedicated outreach for education, advocacy, and clean-up. The Onset Bay Association will also organize and activate volunteers for an Earth Day clean-up to keep all busy areas in their village, parks, playgrounds, and beaches free of debris. Lastly, and certainly, not least, the grant for Youth Opportunities Unlimited will be for a solar-powered weather station, climate monitoring, and education.
The New Bedford Earth Day 50th Anniversary Committee, comprised of over forty organizations, primarily nonprofits in education, the arts, conservation, and environmental learning, as well as several city departments, was formed in 2020. The alliance intends to stay connected and, when appropriate, re-engage with legislative activism and environmental education to support and protect our planet.
Organizing partner Buzzards Bay Coalition (BBC) is a membership-supported nonprofit organization dedicated to the restoration, protection, and sustainable use and enjoyment of the irreplaceable Bay and its watershed within the South Coast.”