Advancing Environmental Justice and Sustainability

Taproot Collective received a $35,845 grant from the Community Foundation as part of the Foundation’s new action area, Advancing Environmental Justice and Sustainability.

The grant served as a match for funding from the Funder Network’s Partners for Places program. Taproot was one of six organizations across the country to receive support to create equitable and sustainable communities through collaborative partnerships between local governments, place-based funders, and frontline community-led group partnerships. The program is supported by five foundations: The JPB Foundation, The Kendeda Fund, The Kresge Foundation, the New York Community Trust, and the Pisces Foundation.

The Community Foundation’s matching grant was provided through the H Fund and Gonsenhauser Family Fund, which support environmental programs and urban and sustainable farming. 

Taproot Collective’s “Strengthening our Roots” program is aimed at protecting green spaces through community control. Taproot will work in partnership with City Roots Community Land Trust, the City of Rochester, and St. Mark’s & St. John’s Episcopal Church to enhance the environmental sustainability and resilience of critical urban garden sites in the Beechwood neighborhood.

Beechwood is home to several community gardens that have transformed abandoned lots into healthy spaces – providing access to nutritious produce and instilling a sense of pride among residents. As mounting development pressures have prompted concerns about the long-term viability of the community gardens the gardens on city-owned land will be purchased and entered into a community land trust, ensuring they remain community-controlled resources in perpetuity. Additionally, the Partners for Places program will help fund physical improvements, crop planning, environmental education, and youth employment opportunities.

Published October 2021