Ap­pli­ca­tions open for Keep Mary­land Beau­ti­ful grants

$200K avail­able for com­mu­nity beau­ti­fi­ca­tion, green­ing and en­vi­ron­men­tal ini­tia­tives

Sunday Star - - LIFE -

ANNAPOLIS — The Mary­land En­vi­ron­men­tal Trust, a unit of the Mary­land De­part­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources, is ac­cept­ing ap­pli­ca­tions for the Keep Mary­land Beau­ti­ful grants pro­gram.

The five grants be­ing of­fered help vol­un­teer and non­profit groups, com­mu­ni­ties and land trusts sup­port en­vi­ron­men­tal ed­u­ca­tion projects, lit­ter re­moval, ci­ti­zen stew­ard­ship and solve nat­u­ral re­source is­sues in ur­ban and ru­ral ar­eas. The dead­line to ap­ply for fund­ing is Nov. 15. Awards will be an­nounced in spring 2019.

The Keep Mary­land Beau­ti­ful grants will be of­fered in two cat­e­gories: En­vi­ron­men­tal Ed­u­ca­tion, Com­mu­nity Ini­tia­tives and Cleanups for com­mu­nity groups, lo­cal gov­ern­ments and non­prof­its, and Land Trust Ca­pac­ity, Ex­cel­lence and Stew­ard­ship for lo­cal land trusts. Ap­pli­cants may only ap­ply for one of the of­fered grants.

The Mary­land En­vi­ron­men­tal Trust awards Keep Mary­land Beau­ti­ful grants an­nu­ally to sup­port the re­moval of thou­sands of pounds of lit­ter and re­vi­tal­iza­tion of pub­lic lands and wa­ter­ways in an ef­fort to en­hance and ex­pand lo­cal ca­pac­ity to con­serve the state’s re­sources.

Fund­ing for the Keep Mary­land Beau­ti­ful grants pro­gram is pro­vided by the Mary­land De­part­ment of Trans­porta­tion, Mary­land De­part­ment of Hous­ing and Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment and Mary­land En­vi­ron­men­tal Trust.

“Keep Mary­land Beau­ti­ful is an in­cred­i­ble multi-agency part­ner­ship sup­port­ing lo­cal cleanup and beau­ti­fi­ca­tion ef­forts that pro­mote en­vi­ron­men­tal aware­ness and re­vi­tal­ize neigh­bor­hoods,” said Mary­land De­part­ment of Hous­ing and Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment Sec­re­tary Ken­neth C. Holt.

“We are pleased to have com­mit­ted more than $500,000 since 2017 to sup­port th­ese grants to em­power com­mu­nity stake­hold­ers to turn their en­ergy into ac­tion to cre­ate and main­tain lit­ter-free streets, clear wa­ter­ways, and sus­tain­able prac­tices for a clean and green fu­ture,” Holt said.

An­nounced in April, the fis­cal year 2018 awards in­cluded 82 grants to­tal­ing more than $300,000 for beau­ti­fi­ca­tion projects, com­mu­nity cleanup ac­tiv­i­ties and en­vi­ron­men­tal ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams in 22 coun­ties and Bal­ti­more City.

“Keep Mary­land Beau­ti­ful is one of the lead­ing pro­grams through which our state sup­ports lo­cal en­vi­ron­men­tal stew­ard­ship,” Mary­land Nat­u­ral Re­sources Sec­re­tary Mark Bel­ton said. “Through the work of Mary­land En­vi­ron­men­tal Trust and the sup­port of our val­ued part­ners, th­ese grants in­spire and en­gage con­ser­va­tion in every com­mu­nity.”

The Mary­land De­part­ment of Trans­porta­tion has pledged $50,000 a year to the pro­gram for five years, start­ing in fis­cal year 2018, to­tal­ing $250,000.

“This com­mit­ment shows we can meet day-to-day trans­porta­tion needs and still be a good stew­ard of the en­vi­ron­ment,” Mary­land De­part­ment of Trans­porta­tion Sec­re­tary Pete K. Rahn said. “By work­ing to­gether we can beau­tify and change Mary­land for the bet­ter.”

Grants and fund­ing amount avail­able are:

Aileen Hughes Grant of up to $2,000 is awarded to an in­di­vid­ual rep­re­sent­ing a Mary­land land trust for out­stand­ing lead­er­ship, part­ner­ship and in­no­va­tion in a con­ser­va­tion pro­ject or or­ga­ni­za­tion de­vel­op­ment.

Bill James En­vi­ron­men­tal Grant of up to $1,000 is awarded to school groups, sci­ence and ecol­ogy clubs and other non­profit youth groups for pro­posed en­vi­ron­men­tal ed­u­ca­tion projects.

Clean Up & Green Up Mary­land Grant of up to $5,000 is awarded to lo­cal gov­ern­ments, com­mu­nity groups and non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tions to pro­mote neigh­bor­hood beau­ti­fi­ca­tion and clean­li­ness by in­creas­ing lit­ter re­moval, green­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, com­mu­nity ed­u­ca­tion and ci­ti­zen stew­ard­ship.

Jan­ice Holl­man Grant of up to $10,000 is awarded to land trusts to in­crease ca­pac­ity, sup­port pro­gram­ming and in­no­va­tion, and fos­ter stronger, bet­ter con­nected trusts that will pro­tect all nat­u­ral re­sources and en­hance the lives of cit­i­zens and gen­er­a­tions to come.

Mar­garet Rosch Jones Grant of up to $2,000 is awarded to non­prof­its or com­mu­ni­ties for an on­go­ing pro­ject or ac­tiv­ity that has demon­strated suc­cess in solv­ing an en­vi­ron­men­tal pri­or­ity. This award rec­og­nizes those or­ga­ni­za­tions that have been ac­tively ed­u­cat­ing peo­ple in their com­mu­ni­ties about com­mu­nity beau­ti­fi­ca­tion, lit­ter preven­tion or ad­dress­ing the causes of a lo­cal en­vi­ron­men­tal chal­lenge.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF MD DNR

Grants are now avail­able for Keep Mary­land Beau­ti­ful ini­tia­tives. The dead­line to ap­ply for fund­ing is Nov. 15.

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