Environmental Justice Grantees (1989-2010)

(Date indicates the year the grantee was last funded)

Arlington Civic Council, 1997
Using a newsletter and activities for neighborhood children, this group focuses on issues that affect their neighborhood. Teenagers of diverse backgrounds gain work experience and awaken their ability to excel. Youth work involves community gardening, an herb garden for Arlington Meals on Wheels and a pumpkin patch from which neighborhood children carve entries in a jack-o-lantern contest.

Citizen Power, 1997
TRCF funds were used to hold three educational forums to let Duquesne Light customers understand how electric restructuring (due to the passage of The Electric Generation Customer Choice and Competition Act) would impact their lives.

Citizens Coal Council, 2007
CCC addresses the environmental and social problems precipitated by the full coal cycle. The cycle includes the mining, processing, and burning of coal, in addition to the dumping of power plant waste. Their goals include halting irresponsible mining practices, strengthening the federal Abandoned Mine Lands program, monitoring power plant waste regulation, and educating the public about what they can do to stop pollution due to all phases of mining.

Clean Water Fund, 2007
The fund’s work most often benefits low- and moderate-income people and people of color because their environments are more likely to expose them to toxic chemicals. CWF educates local labor and environmental activists on the relationship between environmental and economic issues, and works to reduce the amount of toxic chemicals used in local industries.  CWF also started the Pesticide Safety Organizing Project to reduce pesticide exposure and improve the health of students and teachers, and the Cumulative Impact Project to develop a comprehensive regulation ensuring that no community in Allegheny County is subject to a disproportionate level of health-threatening air pollution.

Concerned Residents of the Yough (CRY), 1993
Instrumental in the formation of the Pennsylvania Environmental Network, which promotes environmental justice through shared resources, this organization was established in 1985 to combat Mill Services, Inc., to which it attributes environmental problems in the community.

East Liberty Arts Council, 2002
TRCF funds were used to create the East Liberty ArtPark, a place where children can develop their imaginations, in a misused piece of city land.

Fineview Citizens Council, 1998
This grassroots, community-based, North Side group promoted a Greenway Project to restore and retain green space in the community.

Free Ride!, 2006
Free Ride! hosts a Youth Earn-A-Bike Program, a 12-hour course in which young people (ages 10-16) learn bike repair, maintenance, and safety, as well as basic principles of environmental sustainability.  Each youth chooses a bicycle to learn to repair, and ultimately keep.  Funding helped this group develop and strengthen partnerships with local youth organizations and to expand the environmental curriculum of the program.

Friends of the Pittsburgh Urban Forest, 2008
FPUF used its grant to implement programming in Homewood that empowered and engaged residents to increase tree canopy cover and improve the health of existing trees so that the community could experience the full benefits that trees provide.

Friends of the Riverfront, 1995
This group brought together youth from two similar at-risk urban neighborhoods, Central North Side and Rosedale Block Cluster, which have been historically conflicted. The three-month Trail Care project allowed the youth to participate in a program that educated them on environmental issues, provided employment opportunities and created a sense of ownership of the riverfront.

Garfield Community Farm, 2010
The Garfield Community Farm used Special Opportunity Grant funds to construct a hoop house (an inexpensive greenhouse), which extended their growing season by almost four months.  They also received an annual grant to support their internship program, providing jobs for residents in this blighted neighborhood.  In 2010, using TRCF funds, they instituted a CSA (community-supported agriculture) program, providing low-cost fresh vegetables and fruit to the residents of Garfield.

Green Millennium Children’s Garden, 2003
Begun in 1999, the GMCG is a place for children from primarily economically disadvantaged families to put their energy to work.  The garden provides a green space for youth to connect with the earth through gardening, and learn about ecology, nutrition, and art.

Group Against Smog and Pollution, 2008
This group implemented a Diesel Education and Monitoring Project in the East End of Pittsburgh.  Local activists were trained on how to measure air pollution levels and to report them to the proper authorities.  They also took Allegheny County residents to an Environmental Protection Agency hearing on proposed changes that would weaken the current standards for soot in the air.  In 2008, their grant implemented the Pollution Patrol team, made up of residents of Allegheny County who were educated on various air quality issues and trained in using air monitoring equipment, enabling them to be powerful advocates in their communities.

Growth Through Energy and Community Health (GTECH) Strategies, 2009
GTECH Strategies used its funds to implement a series of lessons at after-school programs to teach youth about environmental and social issues surrounding vacant lots, while allowing them to explore solutions as a way to empower them in their own communities.

Mon Valley Media, Inc., 2005
TRCF funds were most recently used to produce an hour-long documentary entitled “Death Watch,” about innocent people serving time on death row in Pennsylvania.  Other TRCF-funded projects: Free Speech Denied (art exhibit – 2003); Cave vs. Cure: Healing the Landscape (multi-media art exhibit – 2002); Memories of a Forgotten War (film screening – 2001); Unbound Ground (environmental/community art exhibit – 2001).

Mountain Watershed Association, 2007
MWA used their grant to engage the public, raise awareness, and build enough power to bring about a change in public policy with regard to a relatively unknown component of the coal cycle, coalbed methane extraction (CBM). The frequency of this activity has recently exploded in southwestern Pennsylvania. This project worked to inform the public of their rights regarding this activity, and have them speak out about it to local policy makers.

Overbrook Community Council, 1995
In order to make their community a better place to live, the OCC is working with a teen council to establish a community newspaper, offer programs and assistance to residents of nursing homes and study environmental contaminants in four local creeks.

Rachel Carson Homestead Association, 2002
Working in conjunction with the International Union of Painters and Related Trades DC57, the RCHA used funds to change the perception among workers and residents of the Allegheny River Valley that environmental concerns and labor issues are in conflict.  They presented posters, flyers, and brochures to union members, other workers, and high school students.

Red Road, Inc., 1997
TRCF provided funding for a conference in southwestern Pennsylvania with a goal of building a coalition of American Indians and non-Indians to promote social justice. Issues on the agenda included child welfare and American Indian education, the environment, substance abuse and treatment, treaty rights and sovereignty, poverty and self-sufficiency, and preservation of culture and spiritual practices.

River City Nonviolent Resistance Campaign, 1989
The campaign focuses on issues of nuclear waste and federal military spending.

Save Our County and Regional Environmental Alliance (SOC), 1993
Founded in 1982 in response to the proposed siting of a hazardous waste facility in East Liverpool, Ohio, SOC has focused on educating the community and public officials on environmental issues. TRCF funded the alliance’s newsletter, which connects the organization with hundreds of groups and individuals fighting similar environmental battles in the region.

Sharps Terrace Resident Council, 1993
The Sharps Terrace Resident Council represents low-income residents in a public-housing complex who converted an abandoned lot into a community garden, producing more than 1,000 pounds of produce in the first year. In conjunction with the local school district, the community garden is grown organically and used to teach children their role in maintaining a healthy environment.

Student Environmental Action Coalition, Pittsburgh (SEAC), 1998
SEAC is a membership-based, grassroots, student-led regional organization that is dedicated to achieving social and environmental justice. Mid-Atlantic SEAC focuses on local and regional issues that affect environmental and social conditions, working closely with community groups on issues ranging from deforestation to environmental racism.

Three Rivers Earth Force, 2010
TREF used a grant to support the engagement of 5th to 8th grade youth as the “eyes and minds,” as well as the “hands and feet,” of environmental change in Wilkinsburg.  The students embarked on a youth-led Community Action and Problem Solving process, intended to change community policies and practices for the better when it came to environmental justice.

Urban Farming Initiative, 2005
TRCF Special Opportunity Grant funds were used to develop a logo to provide a lasting visual impression of the group.

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