By Ann Fowler Wallace, TFN Director of Programs

Now, more than ever, communities are coming together to confront climate change and build resilience at the local level.

That’s why we’re excited to announce the newest round of Partners for Places grantees: six cities across the United States and Canada that will receive nearly $900,000 dollars for sustainability efforts.

These local sustainability efforts focus largely on empowering and engaging low-income neighborhoods — communities that are disproportionately affected by climate change and extreme weather.

They will take place in cities both large and small, from a project in Indianapolis, Ind., that will recruit neighborhood “resilience ambassadors” to a solar-power effort in Oak Park, Ill., where local teens will research and produce a climate-themed radio show.

Three of the communities occupy especially vulnerable waterfront geographies: Honolulu, Los Angeles and Miami are embarking on efforts to either craft or refine resiliency plans and strategies. And in Edmonton, Canada, Partners for Places will help fund efforts to include low-income, immigrant and indigenous communities in plans to move to a low-carbon future.

Vision and Vital Partnerships

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The Village of Oak Park, Ill., will use its Partners for Places grant to drive continued action, education and outreach on solar development, including a local radio show produced by teens. Photo: Village of Oak Park

Partners for Places, led by TFN in partnership with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, pairs city governments with philanthropy to support sustainability projects that promote a healthy environment, a strong economy and well-being for all residents.

“Communities across this country are already tackling the threat of climate change with passion and purpose,” said Arturo Garcia-Costas, environmental program officer for the New York Community Trust. “These projects showcase their ingenuity and vision, and exemplify how philanthropy can support the vital partnerships we need to create safer, stronger and more resilient communities.”

Partners for Places will provide $443,344 in funding to these six cities through its general grant program, which will be matched by local funders. That means a total of $899,977 will be leveraged to fund sustainability projects in these selected cities.

The program is supported by five investor foundations: The JPB FoundationThe Kendeda FundThe New York Community TrustThe Summit Foundation, and Surdna Foundation.

To date, Partners for Places has awarded nearly $6 million across North America in this successful matching grant program, leading to nearly $12 million in investments.

Meet the New Grantees

The latest Partners for Places grant recipients and their matching funders are:

• Edmonton, Canada ($59,883): To work with low-income, immigrant and indigenous communities to ensure they are consulted and included in energy transition programs focused on a low-carbon, energy sustainable future. (Matching funder: Edmonton Community Foundation.)

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Josh Stanbro, Honolulu’s first sustainability officer, meets with residents at a resiliency workshop. Photo: Claire Bonham Carter via Twitter

• Honolulu, Hawaii ($75,000): To create a clear, ambitious, achievable climate action and adaptation plan that addresses unique cost of living and climate impact vulnerabilities of Oahu — the island that is home to the state’s capital city of Honolulu — and serves as a model for climate planning throughout the Hawaiian Islands. (Matching funder: Hawaii Community Foundation.)

• Indianapolis, Ind. ($146,711): To create a comprehensive, equitable, and socially just sustainability, climate action, and resilience plan for Indianapolis, with actions initially implemented within revitalization-focused neighborhoods. (Matching funders: McKinney Green Initiatives, a Central Indiana Community Foundation fund, and Indianapolis Power & Light.)

• Los Angeles County, Calif. ($87,500): To actively include community voices in a countywide sustainability plan by employing innovative engagement strategies and building meaningful community partnerships — including working with low-income communities and communities of color that are often the most vulnerable to climate change, urban heat island impacts, and poor air quality. (Matching funders: Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and LA n Sync at the California Community Foundation.)

Miami is grappling with the effects of sea level rise, including increasingly high autumn “king tides”. Photo: City of Miami

• Miami, Fla.($25,000): To develop a resilience strategy that is integrated with the city’s strategic plan and land-use policies, with a strong focus on engaging low-income and underserved communities. This includes a community engagement consultant that will assist in workshops to uncover the best and most innovative ideas for increasing resilience in these communities — and the city as a whole. (Matching funder: The Miami Foundation.)

• Oak Park, Ill. ($49,250): To drive continued action, education and outreach on solar development and procurement in Oak Park, River Forest and surrounding communities, including a local radio show produced by teens, and influencing and inspiring similar efforts in other Chicago metro area counties and communities. (Matching funder: The Community_works_ Fund of the Oak Park River Forest Community Foundation.)

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Los Angeles County will use its Partners for Places grant to help engage and uplift local voices in sustainability efforts. Photo: Los Angeles County

New RFP Coming Soon!

Partners for Places will open a new round of funding for the general grant program in early summer. The Round 13 RFP will be released on June 5, 2018, and proposals will be due on July 31, 2018. For more information about the Partners for Places program, please feel free to reach out to TFN’s Director of Programs Ann Fowler Wallace.