The last Green Valley, Inc. (TLGV) awarded almost $60,000 in grants as part of its largest funding program in more than a decade. More than 20 organizations and communities applied for the Community Enrichment Grant Program.
“The diversity and far reaching impacts of all the applications was exciting to see,” said Lois Bruinooge, executive director of TLGV. “We were able to fund eight projects and believe they will benefit not only the immediate communities they are in, but the entire Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor for many years to come.”
TLGV offered the grants to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of its National Heritage Corridor designation. Projects aimed at conserving, celebrating or enhancing The Last Green Valley’s significant natural and historic resources or promoting economic development such as tourism and outdoor nature-based recreation, were eligible for the funding.
TLGV is a member-supported non-profit charged with stewardship of the unique agricultural, natural, historic and cultural resources of one of the nation’s oldest national heritage corridors, The Last Green Valley.
Recipients of the grants are:
The Community Food Collaborative in Sturbridge, MA received $6,000 for enhancements to make the community garden more efficient and productive. The garden ensures a food pantry in Southbridge can offer fresh produce to Sturbridge and Southbridge residents in need.
Killingly Intermediate School in Killingly, CT received $3,424.48 for the creation of three nature trails on the school property. The trails will be part of a larger curriculum-based initiative on ecosystems and forest health.
The Town of Mansfield, CT received $7,500 for trail work, including signage, improvements and a trail guide, on its new Simpson-Wood Preserve. The town will be working with Boy Scout Troop 56 and students from EO Smith High School on improvements to the property. The preserve also connects to the town’s 35-acre Mt. Hope Park.
Pierce Care in Brooklyn, CT received $10,000 for a light pollution reduction program at its Creamery Brook Retirement Village. The grant will help fund replacement of fixtures which create significant sky glow on the 12-acre campus.
Union School in Union, CT was awarded $9,747 for its Union United effort on the school grounds. Effort have been underway for several years to make Union School both the educational and community center of Connecticut’s smallest town by population. The grant will fund enhancements to outdoor classroom space, an outdoor gathering space and the creation of a community garden.
Windham County 4-H Foundation in Pomfret, CT was awarded $10,000 for dam repairs. The dam is essential to the maintenance of the 4-H Camp pond on its 265-acre property. The pond is the center of activity during summer camps and is integral in the programming of the Ragged Hill Environmental Science programs.
The Windham Region Community Council in Willimantic, CT received $10,000 for is Thread City Family Garden Outdoor Classroom. While the council and its GROW Windham effort are the applicants, it is truly the Windham Youth Core, a high school leadership group, that is leading the effort to build outdoor classroom and gathering space at their existing half-acre Thread City Family Garden.
The Town of Thompson, CT was awarded $2,500 for its Garden by The River Project at 65 Main St. The garden is phase one of a long-term vision to reclaim the property and rehabilitate a historic building there. The garden will include installation of a rain garden and a community garden.
All grants must be matched 1:1 by cash or in-kind contributions. The grants for the eight projects will translate into almost $200,000 of additional benefits to the region.
The Community Enrichment Grants were the last of several funding opportunities offered by TLGV to organizations and municipalities in The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor. A total of $75,000 in grants were awarded this fall.
The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor is the last stretch of dark night sky in the coastal sprawl between Boston and Washington, D.C. The Last Green Valley, Inc. works for you in the National Heritage Corridor. Together we can care for it, enjoy it and pass it on!