In 2011 our friends at Keep Virginia Beautiful started a program called “30 in 30,” i.e. 30 grants in 30 days, to “empower groups all across Virginia to make an environmental impact in their own communities.”
Keep Virginia Beautiful’s “30 in 30” program awards small grants — anywhere from $500 to $1,000 — for projects in four categories: Community Beautification and Greening, Litter Prevention, Recycling, and Cigarette Litter Prevention. New this year: five bonus grants of $2,000.
Since 2011, KVB has provided $178,000 for 230 different projects at schools, colleges, parks, counties and towns, environmental groups, associations, nonprofits, and service organizations.
Online applications were accepted throughout April, which panel of expert judges reviewed in May. KVB announced their “30 Grants in Thirty Days” recipients each day in the month of June on social media and their website, and I thought it would be cool to highlight the Richmond-area recipients as a reminder of the hard work put in by so many groups all over the region to keep RVA shiny and bright.
Friends of Pocahontas State Park
The Friends of Pocahontas State Park received a $500 for their beautification project to help maintain the existing gardens around Pocahontas State Park. Funds awarded will be used to purchase a leaf shredder, as well as additional native plants to improve the landscape gardens. Volunteers will use shredded leaves as mulch in the flower beds, which saves the park money by not having to purchase mulch to replenish the gardens each year.
Richmond Guardian Angels
The Richmond Guardian Angels received a $500 grant for their beautification project, “Positive Messaging at Our Feet.” The Guardian Angels will construct raised flower beds in selected front yards in Jackson Ward. After completion, they will work with youth from 6 Points Innovation Center to paint and stencil the beds with positive messages. This is not only a Beautification project, but also a beautification message.
Robious Elementary PTA
Robious Elementary School PTA received a $1,000 grant for their composting project. The PTA will use the grant money to teach children about composting and to beautify the school grounds. They will improve the existing garden beds and install a composter. Gardeners from the area will be brought in to teach the students about gardening techniques. This grant will provide the students at Robious Elementary an opportunity to learn outside the classroom and gain knowledge of how various food waste can be recycled into compost instead of going to landfills.
Linwood Holton Elementary PTA
Linwood Holton Elementary School PTA received a $750 grant for their recycling project, “Doing the Rot Thing.” The PTA will use their grant money to fund a composting program for the school. They will build four compost bins in the garden and teach the students about the composting process from start to finish. They will be using organic waste, generated by the school cafeteria, to show students how leftover food can be repurposed and kept out of the landfills.
Richmond Clean City Commission
Richmond Clean City Commission received a $1,000 grant for its litter prevention project. CCC sponsors programs that encourage citizens to clean their environment. Their goal is to support sustainable prevention and measurable reduction of litter within the Highland Park community. They will use their grant money to fund educational outreach materials, and to support clean ups in areas where there is already an excessive amount of litter.
Va. Oyster Shell Recycling Program
The Virginia Oyster Shell Recycling Program received a $2,000 grant for their recycling project. Currently, the VOSRP at the VCU Rice Rivers Center recycles waste oyster shell from more than 60 Virginia restaurants, 30 seafood retailers, and the general public. The group returns the shells to the Chesapeake Bay instead of it being lost to a landfill. With funds provided by us, VOSRP will support expansion into the Northern Virginia and further into the Central Virginia areas, including Mason Neck State Park, Leesylvania State Park, Fredericksburg, and Henrico County.
Renew Richmond received a $1,000 grant for their beautification project to install a new community garden and orchard at Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church. Funds will be used to purchase edible plants, seeds, and fruit trees for the garden. This project will offer Jackson Ward neighbors, churchgoers, and passers-by from the surrounding community an opportunity for contemplation of natural beauty and greenery in a neighborhood with limited access to green space.
Groundwork RVA received a $1,000 grant for their litter prevention project in the Highland Park neighborhood. Their plan is to create an anti-litter video that is written, directed, and performed by neighborhood youth. Once the video is complete, they will invite family, friends, and neighbors to view the movie and participate in a neighborhood clean up. After the debut, they will plan monthly litter cleanups for residents to conduct in Highland Park.