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The Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program - How Forest Recycle Their Neck of the Woods

In fairy tales, a journey into the wilderness often represents a rite of passage. Our favorite character enters and metamorphosis occurs. The Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program wants to help forests be catalysts for transformation in the real world as well. It enables communities to buy woodlands that are threatened with development in order to protect their traditional uses and create new opportunities for environmental education, economic development and ecological stewardship. In saving the forests, rural communities especially can reawaken with the very characteristics that defined them in the first place.

Save the Bats - Fearless Funding for a Not-So-Scary Subject

It wasn’t easy coming up with a Halloween topic for this blog. Grants for ghost seemed like an obvious choice, but as it turns out, financial assistance for paranormal activity has dwindled in the past few years. It seems that money for monsters and funding for Frankenstein just isn’t what it used to be. As good as our database is, queries for vampires and werewolves also left us howling in vain. Bats to the rescue! Literally! Far more valuable than just a tongue-in-cheek Halloween topic, bats are a vital force for good in the greater scheme of things. Mother Nature is the spirit we will be channeling today as we bring funding opportunities to help save the bats and more.

The GRO1000 Gardens and Green Spaces Grant Program - Helping Local Governments Bloom

If we have brought you a bounty of nature-related grants lately, there is good reason for it. As it turns out, what is good for the environment is good for us as well. In addition to improved physical and mental health for individuals, green space is critical to urban areas. The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company agree. They have partnered with each other to grow one thousand community gardens and green spaces by 2018 with their GRO1000 Gardens and Green Spaces Grant Program.

The America's Great Outdoors:  Developing the Next Generation of Conservationists Program

According to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, one third of employees in the Department of the Interior will be eligible to retire in the next five years. The challenge is how to transfer all that wisdom, skill, and knowledge to younger generations, many who would be more likely to recognize an Angry Bird than a bald eagle. Estimates hold that childhood in the age of video games means seven minutes a day in unstructured play outside and seven hours in front of a screen of some sort. The National Fish and Wildlife’s program America’s Great Outdoors: Developing the Next Generation of Conservationists aims to reconnect young people with their natural environments. In addition to all the physical, mental and emotional benefits there are to experiencing wild places, America's Great Outdoors equips them with the conservation career training needed to answer the help wanted signs that may be appearing soon.

Alternative Funding for Alternative Transportation:  Bikes and the Big Jump Project

Beyond exercise, it is easy to list the benefits of biking for both riders and the communities they live in. There is reduced traffic congestion, cleaner air, greater energy independence, smaller carbon footprints, and larger wallets when used as alternatives to autos. Not to mention, there is just something liberating about peddling along outside at our own pace, even if we are in the middle of a congested urban area. In order to further advance biking as a force for good, People for Bikes is looking for communities committed to creating cultures where cycling is cool.

AmeriCorps State and National Grants - Service as Solutions

Booker T. Washington once said, “If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.” The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is one federal agency that makes the act of lifting each other up possible. One of its most famous programs, AmeriCorps, was started in 1994 to give young people a chance to engage in national service, participate in professional development and earn money for their college educations. Since then, almost 1 million members have clocked more than 1.2 billion U.S. service hours. AmeriCorps State and National provides grants, directly or through State Service Commissions, to organizations and partnerships who believe community service plays a large part in solving social problems. Grantees use their awards to recruit, train and supervise AmeriCorps members to build capacity and meet the needs of the areas where they volunteer.

The Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency Grants Program

Baja tourists swear the Eastern North Pacific grays (aka California grays) are just as curious about them as they are about the whales. They claim the magnificent mammals often swim up to whale watching boats as if welcoming interaction. Perhaps they are just happy to be back in the warm waters of Mexico after traveling 10,000 miles from their feeding grounds in Alaska’s Bering Sea. Or perhaps, in their own way, they are thanking humans for the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Under its protection, they were among the first to recover and be removed from the endangered list. Unfortunately, not all marine life has fared so well. Many species and their habitats are still vulnerable and in need of protection. Since human intervention has been documented to make a difference, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations (NOAA) is offering funding to strengthen coastal ecosystems for the benefit of all life forms who depend on them.

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