Virginia Environmental Endowment awards $284K for natural resource initiatives

environmentThe Virginia Environmental Endowment announced grant awards of $284,612 to 14 organizations dedicated to protecting and improving the Commonwealth’s natural resources and environment. When combined with matching funds, the Endowment has provided more than $86 million in environmental improvement support since it was founded in 1977.

“The Virginia Environmental Endowment is honored to support partners whose work reflects a commitment to preserving and protecting Virginia’s natural resources,” said Joseph H. Maroon, VEE Executive Director. “These grants provide $100,000 in funds for land conservation efforts, $90,000 for environmental literacy and public awareness, and over $90,000 to address challenges facing local water quality, the Chesapeake Bay, and coastal protection. The VEE grants support organizations working throughout the Commonwealth including Northern Virginia, Shenandoah Valley, Southern Virginia, Central Virginia, and the cities of Richmond, Fredericksburg, Charlottesville, and Williamsburg.”

Land Conservation

Capital Region Land Conservancy, Richmond, VA: Support for continued land conservation initiatives along the James River; for expanded work along the Pamunkey River, including landowner consultation; and for expanded conservation mapping of the RVA region. ($20,000)

Land Trust Alliance, Washington, DC: Continued support for a professional land trust coach to provide direct assistance to several private land trusts including laying the groundwork for the expansion of high impact land trusts, and empowering other local organizations to reach out to landowners in 17 counties in southern and central Virginia. ($20,000)

Land Trust of Virginia, Middleburg, VA: Support to advance proactive and highly targeted conservation work along the eastern side of the Blue Ridge Mountains, starting in Loudoun and Fauquier counties, for work with willing landowners with large parcels having the highest conservation values. ($20,000)

Potomac Conservancy, Winchester, VA: Support for targeted conservation work by the Conservancy and its partner organizations on the lands most critical to protecting water quality in Virginia’s northern Shenandoah Valley region. ($20,000)

Virginia’s United Land Trusts, Richmond, VA: Support for the design and implementation of a plan to enable Virginia’s 30-plus local land trusts to more effectively communicate the relevance of land conservation to more diverse communities, including ties to water quality protection, dependable drinking water, healthy communities, etc. ($20,000)

Environmental Literacy and Public Awareness

Audubon Naturalist Society, Loudoun County, VA: Support for an innovative pilot project combining its award-winning “GreenKids” environmental education program for students in two Loudoun County elementary schools with its community watershed stewardship program for parents, teachers, and adults in nearby areas.  ($20,000)

Blue Sky Fund, Richmond, VA: Support to continue the Explorers education program in eight Richmond inner city public elementary schools. The program provides monthly experiential STEM education and outdoor field experiences which would otherwise be unavailable to the schools’ students. ($20,000)

Boxerwood Education Association, Inc., Lexington, VA: Support for Boxerwood to help train and assist in the implementation of the new Rockbridge County Schools innovative high school vocational program which has a goal of preparing 25% of all tenth through twelfth grade students in one of three ‘green career’ pathways: 21st Century Sustainable Agriculture, Alternate Energy and Power, and Environmental Management and Leadership. ($15,000)

Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Richmond, VA: Support for work by the “Virginia No Child Left Inside” coalition to advance environmental literacy in Virginia; for CBF’s efforts to provide outreach and environmental literacy resources to underserved areas; and to provide training to teachers in Amelia and neighboring counties. ($20,000)

Friends of the Rappahannock, Fredericksburg, VA: Support for a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences coordinator to help teachers and schools in the middle and upper Rappahannock watershed design and advance outdoor learning experiences for their students. ($15,000)

Water Quality, Chesapeake Bay, and Coastal Resilience

James River Association, Richmond, VA: Support for research and the publication of several reports tied to the biennial “State of the James” report and to raise awareness of challenges and progress pertaining to such topics as wastewater loads, oysters, and sturgeon. ($25,000)

Keck Environmental Field Lab, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA: Support for research and an analysis, in partnership with James City County, on the release of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from stormwater management ponds, including the extent to which pond design impacts the volume of GHGs released. ($9,612)

Southern Environmental Law Center, Charlottesville, VA: Continued support for land use and transportation solutions that promote the conservation of open space and natural areas and for policy related efforts to advance and defend water quality improvement programs in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. ($30,000)

Virginia Coastal Policy Center, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA: Support for its highly successful annual forum (November 4, 2018) focused on resilience planning for coastal communities and for an analysis of the statutory, logistical and economic challenges associated with addressing decentralized residential sewage treatment (e.g., straight pipes and septic systems) and other water quality related topics. ($30,000)

To learn more about the Endowment, or to obtain additional information about the complete list of projects or organizations receiving funding, please contact Joseph H. Maroon at info@vee.orgor (804) 644.5000 or visit vee.org.

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