This content was originally published by the Longmont Observer and is licensed under a Creative Commons license.
On Tuesday, Dec. 10, the Boulder County Commissioners announced the recipients of 2020 Environmental Sustainability Grants in the following communities in Boulder County: Boulder, Erie, Jamestown, Lafayette, Longmont, Louisville, Lyons, and Nederland.
Boulder County’s Environmental Sustainability Matching Grant Program provides an opportunity for governmental organizations in the county to undertake environmental sustainability priorities within their communities. In addition to supporting local efforts, Boulder County’s Environmental Sustainability Matching Grant Program will help the county leverage community resources for a coordinated, countywide approach to environmental sustainability.
The Sustainability Matching Grant Program in 2020 will be funded by the Sustainability Tax revenue. In November 2016, voters approved the Sustainability Tax ballot initiative, to allocate a portion of sales and use tax revenue to fund sustainability infrastructure and programs, including grant funding to cities and towns for sustainability-focused initiatives that will address the priority needs of local communities. This is a major improvement to the reach of this program from past years. The funding waspreviously provided by the county General Fund and limited each municipality to $15,000 asks, this year the municipalities were able to ask for significantly more funding in some cases (based on population and ability to provide matching funds).
The 2020 Sustainability Grant recipients are pursuing diverse projects, including recycling and yard waste drop-off events, water conservation services, efforts to increase solar and electric vehicle adoption, and strategies to support the integration of climate mitigation, equity, and resilience.
“We are thrilled to continue and expand this grant program, thanks to voters’ approval of the Sustainability Tax,” said Boulder County Commissioner Elise Jones. “The vision and creativity of the municipalities in Boulder County has resulted in many successful projects, and we’re looking forward to ongoing partnerships to meet our shared goal of more sustainable communities.”
The Sustainability Matching Grant Program was established in 2014 as a way to support efforts that propel sustainability priorities in Boulder County communities. Any incorporated city or town located within Boulder County was eligible to apply for funding proportionate to community population. The municipality must provide a 25% match of the dollar amount requested.
Recipients and projects selected for award:
- City of Longmont proposed funding of $125,800 to support the development of a community grant program to increase engagement of residents in sustainability as well as funding for a part-time position to support the neighborhood sustainability efforts. The funding requested also supports the development of an equitable carbon-free transportation and electric vehicle readiness roadmap, increasing healthy food access in partnership with the Women, Infant, and Children farmers market program, and funding a part-time grant coordinator to secure additional funding.
City of Boulder proposed funding of $143,000 to formulate a climate action strategy that integrates mitigation, adaptation, and equity, and to support greater collaboration in climate action at a regional scale. The funding requested also supports electrification of transit.
Town of Erie proposed funding of $15,000 to offer water conservation services to residents in partnership with Resource Central.
Town of Jamestown proposed funding of $14,884 to support diversion of waste from the landfill through the continuation of recycling and hard-to-recycle material diversion, and local food production through the expansion of the community garden.
City of Lafayette proposed funding of $30,000 to incentivize home energy audits, support solar energy by protecting community members’ access to solar, and supplement existing state grants for electric vehicle charging stations.
City of Louisville proposed funding of $28,292 to continue to support a part-time sustainability specialist to implement the city’s Sustainability Action Plan and coordinate the achievement of adopted climate action goals.
Town of Lyons proposed funding of $15,000 to offer water conservation services to residents in partnership with Resource Central, to offer discounted trees to the community, to become a member of Colorado Communities for Climate Action (CC4CA), and to continue yard waste collection in the community.
Town of Nederland proposed funding of $15,000 to contract with a sustainability expert for program management, streamlined communication, and valuable sustainability expertise to the town and community, in support of Nederland’s sustainability goals.
Boulder County is proud to have so many communities with progressive ideas for sustainability, and the county looks forward to seeing these grant-winning projects come to fruition. For more information about Boulder County’s sustainability mission and to learn about other programs, visit www.boco.org/Sustainability.