Park City Community Foundation names climate grant recipients
The Park City Community Foundation this week announced the first recipients of its Climate Fund grant program, a total of $175,000 that will be used to further climate change initiatives.
The recipients are Utah Clean Energy, TreeUtah and Recycle Utah.
Ollie Wilder, Park City Community Foundation’s community impact director, said the Park City Climate Fund was created to help usher along innovative projects that address climate change. A committee of seven reviewed the grant applications looking for several things, including the project’s direct impact on greenhouse gas emissions, its ability to be replicated beyond Park City and the potential for scaling, among other factors.
“The three projects are fairly different in nature and in the sector of climate work that they are addressing,” Wilder said. “That said, the committee was pleased that the three final grantees represent several different sides of climate work in our community, ranging from advocacy to community education to planning to direct climate action, and from waste management to carbon sequestration (through tree planting) to energy.”
Recycle Utah will use its $50,000 grant to launch a two-year education program aimed at promoting its “zero waste by 2030” efforts. Eric Moldenhauer, Recycle Utah’s director of development and communications, said his organization is thrilled to receive the grant.
“The timing of this grant couldn’t be better given the relocation of Recycle Utah and our planned future to grow and expand in our community,” he said.
Executive Director Carolyn Wawra said “zero waste” is a critical goal for Recycle Utah.
“Our natural setting is our most precious community asset and every little thing we do to protect or enhance it is to the benefit of every single community member,” she said. “This grant will be used to leverage community support behind a Park City Zero Waste by 2030 goal. This will be done through an outreach campaign initially, and eventually toward logistical changes working with community partners to change the journey of waste in our community.”
TreeUtah will use its $50,000 grant to host educational events throughout Summit County. By planting 2,000 native trees in restoration sites and 40 large caliper trees in public schoolyards and parks, 2,310 pounds of atmospheric carbon will be sequestered per tree over the next 50 years, according to the organization.
Amy May, TreeUtah’s executive director, said this grant will fund efforts that will impact the community for years to come.
“These trees will sequester over 4.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide over the next 50 years and beyond, as well as create oxygen, clean up particulates from the air and filter stormwater,” she said.
The tree planting efforts will need volunteers of all ages, May added. Anyone interested in keeping up to date can visit treeutah.org/events.
The biggest grant recipient was Utah Clean Energy, which received $75,000 to support the Community Renewable Energy Act, which enables municipalities served by Rocky Mountain Power to achieve net-100% renewable electricity by 2030. Executive Director Sarah Wright said they will also use the grant funding to advocate for the acceleration of net-zero construction as well as to advocate for stricter building codes at the local and state level.
“That’s not just with new buildings but with retrofits of existing buildings, as well,” she said. “And we’ll be working with leaders at the local level to see what will work for them.”
Wright said the grant will allow Utah Clean Energy to support the Community Renewable Energy Act at a much greater scale.
“We’re able to work across all communities to try to make this program successful, to keep all communities together and move everyone forward together,” she said. “Our team is just so excited to start digging into this.”
Wilder said the second round of Park City Climate Fund grant application process will open in August or September, with the recipients named sometime in late 2020 or early 2021. The foundation is actively seeking donors to the Climate Fund.
“(For the second round) we would love to be able to distribute as much or more as we did this round,” Wilder said.
And while the foundation isn’t accepting grant applications until the second round opens in a few months, he said they are always excited to hear from people with “big ideas and projects targeting climate change.”
For more information visit https://parkcitycf.org/climatefund/.
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