Baltimore to Receive Nine EcoStar Grants

Constellation Energy awarded 93 EcoStar grants totaling $471,662 to nonprofit organizations pursuing environmental preservation projects in states where Constellation Energy does business.  Grants of up to $5,000 each were awarded to projects focusing on pollution prevention, education and outreach, energy efficiency, conservation, and community activism. The recipients of such grants span 22 states and range from community gardens and habitat restoration to storm water management and innovative energy efficiency programs. Maryland recipients make up 28 of the 44 and Baltimore City will receive nine.

The Baltimore Community Foundation was awarded a grant for their program The Case for Composting at Baltimore City Public Schools.  The Baltimore City Public School (BCPS) system is piloting a lunchroom composting program at eight schools run by student teams. The grant money is being used to provide additional containers to schools, finish the pilot and develop a report on the results to make a case for composting at all of Baltimore’s public schools.

Baltimore Urban Debate League hosts 10 debate tournaments and championship for Elementary, Middle, and High School aged students every year. They received a grant because this year’s debate theme is the environment. The goal is for students to “unlock the power of their own voice to effect change in their community.” The Cylburn Arboretum Association will be using its grant money to develop a camp curriculum aimed at teaching campers how to use GPS technology to better understand the area’s biodiversity.

The Patterson Park area will benefit from three different grants. C.A.R.E. Community Association’s grant is for the C.A.R.E Green Space, a project that will turn an abandoned lot used for illegal dumping and drug dealing into a space that includes a recreational field for neighborhood youth to use.  Friends of Patterson Park, Inc. received a grant for the Patterson Park Community Stewardship Program which will restore the beautiful, clean and “green” Patterson Park.  The grant will help create volunteer teams committed to sharing responsibility, and will bring 25 new trees and six new garden beds.  The Patterson Park Audubon Center received a grant for the expansion of their wetland and pollinator gardens which improve water quality and serve as a wildlife habitat.  The grant will be used for adding 1,ooo sq. ft to the existing 1,600.

Baltimore Green Works’ 9th Annual Baltimore Green Week also received a grant to help their effort in promoting environmental awareness and sustainability.  The Living Classrooms Foundation was granted funds for the 2012 Masonville Cove Environmental Festival, which will involve 5th grade students and teachers from around Baltimore City in interactive projects relating to urban and local watersheds.  Sixth Branch Inc.’s Operation Oliver project received a grant to convert vacant lots into green spaces with artistic elements in the Oliver neighborhood.

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