This January, Sustainable Tompkins awarded Neighborhood Mini-Grants to six diverse community projects.  Our Mini-Grant program is designed to support initiatives of Tompkins County residents and small organizations with “seed money” to make their neighborhoods and communities more sustainable. In our tenth (!) round of grants, we are honored to support:

  • Sciencenter’s  Sustainable Water – The Filtered Way exhibit.  Sustainable Tompkins provided the funding to purchase a Seledon Water Tap Max and plumbing supplies.  The exhibit involves the installation of a nano-tech water filter exhibit at a well-used drinking fountain in the Sciencenter.  There, visitors will be able to compare the taste of filtered water and unfiltered tap water. The exhibit is designed to encourage sustainable alternatives to bottled water, like this filtration system.
  • West Village Gone Green: Gardening and Composting project.  This project, launched with a Neighborhood Mini-Grant, will provide infrastructure to build a neighborhood association.  The association will create a Community Garden where residents can plant and harvest organic vegetables.  It will also oversee a composting system to support the garden and to raise awareness about waste management within the complex.   This long-term project is already flourishing and growing during these cold winter months, with meetings and plans for spring underway.
  • Downtown Music for Uptown Youth, through Tompkins County Youth Advocate Program (YAP).  Through a Neighborhood Mini-Grant, YAP will be able to purchase a new computer to complete a youth-run recording studio.  The studio will provide a safe and supervised social environment where youth can engage in positive social and artistic activities while providing mentorship to one another.
  • The Dacha Project’s Bio-Fuel the Genny. Through a Neighborhood Mini-Grant, the Dacha Project will have funding to transition their Lister generator—which provides electrical power, heat and hot water to the Dacha—from an energy source run off of diesel fuel to one which utilizes bio-diesel.  Once completed, this conversion will allow the homestead to be powered by bio-fuels all 12 months of the year.  This project will also serve as an educational tool for the many visitors, interns and school groups that work with the Dacha Project.
  • Parents Apart: Parents Helping Children Cope with Separation and Divorce.  A Neighborhood Mini-Grant will provide scholarships for five families to attend Parents Apart, workshop for parents going through the breakup process.  Through the workshop, they are able to learn what breakups are like for children and how best to support their families through this period of change.
  • Danby Land Bank’s Raising and Butchering Broilers project.  This project will create a model for building portable, grass-fed broiler houses, and raising and butchering broiler chickens.   This project presents a model by which individuals and communities can grow their own meat more sustainably.

Through these six projects, Sustainable Tompkins is proud to support a broad and comprehensive understanding of community sustainability.  For further information on past projects, click here.  For information on applying for Neighborhood Mini Grants, email Applications for Neighborhood Mini-Grants are being accepted between now and March 1, 2011. We’re looking forward to lots of innovative proposals!

To make a donation or to provide sponsorship to the Neighborhood Mini-Grants Program, visit our donations page, or email  Thank you for helping Sustainable Tompkins build strong and sustainable communities in Tompkins County!