Students seeking free funding for their youth-led green projects take note. The Carmel Green Teen Micro-Grant Program is offering youth environmental grants. See CarmelGreenTeen.org for details and to download an application. Interested youth groups must submit applications by the February 29, 2012 deadline for youth-led projects that reduce pollution, conserve natural resources, or save energy. Grant money will be awarded in mid-March, in plenty of time for April Earth Day or Arbor Day projects.
Since its inception in 2009, the Carmel Green Teen Micro-Grant Program has funded 16 projects, including organic community gardens, butterfly bush, wildflower, and tree-planting projects, reusable shopping bag and CFL bulb promotion, and disposable water bottle reduction projects. So far these projects have:
- Directly involved over 280 young people
- Benefited well over 72,000 people in our community
- Provided Carmel Residents over $90,000 in benefits annually
- Reduced carbon dioxide emissions by over 100 tons annually
- Planted 1,075 trees and numerous butterfly bushes and wildflowers
- Facilitated the ongoing recycling of tons of waste from school cafeterias monthly
- Saved over a half-million plastic bags and thousands of plastic water bottles annually
- Provided 105 CFL bulbs to people from 44 different neighborhoods, saving $2,100 in electricity bills annually
- Provided over 1,000 tomatoes, 50 buckets of beans, and over 650 other vegetables, all locally- and organically-grown, to needy families
- Involved projects within seven elementary schools, one special-needs school, two middle schools, two churches, and Carmel High School
- Created sustainable, safe new animal habitats with plants and trees native to Indiana
- Launched Indiana’s first monofilament fishing line recycling program
- Fostered a greater sense of community
Lauren Gibson, Carmel Green Teen coordinator and Carmel High School junior, noted, “This truly has been a community effort – working together to help empower kids to make Carmel a greener community, one youth project at a time.” Visit CarmelGreenTeen.org for photos, project ideas, and details.