Featured by New York Association of Regional Grantmakers
The following article was published in the April 2008 Issue of the NYRAG Memo in the Environmental Grantmaking section.
The New York Community Trust
"Although environmental problems may be invisible to many New Yorkers, safe drinking water, clean air, and nontoxic buildings are critical for residents' quality of life," said Patricia Jenny, a Program Director at The New York Community Trust. "Philanthropy has an important role to play in protecting the resources that sustain our lives."
Through one of its grant programs devoted to reclaiming the waterfront and expanding open space, The Trust has, over the past three years, awarded grants to the Bronx River Alliance, a coalition of more than 70 community groups and government agencies dedicated to protecting, improving, and restoring the Bronx River corridor. Support from The Trust has helped the alliance lay groundwork for the Bronx River Greenway, a proposed 23-mile, multi-use path connecting Bronx River communities from Westchester through the Bronx. Stretching for more than 15 miles so far, the greenway will offer critical north-south recreation and transportation to pedestrians, bicyclists, and others. Today, the alliance is working to introduce the greenway to community members through canoeing, kayaking, and education and outreach programs.
The New York Community Trust also supports Riverkeeper in its quest to preserve land in watersheds that provide up to 1.5 billion gallons of unfiltered drinking water to more than nine million New Yorkers daily. Riverkeeper played a critical role in the first broad-based watershed legislation in 1997. Through community outreach and legal policy promotion and enforcement, it remains one of the leading organizations dedicated to safe-guarding the region's drinking water. With assets of more than $2 billion invested in 1,800 individual charitable funds, The New York Community Trust is one of the largest community foundations in the nation. Launched in 1924, it builds an endowment for the city, supports its nonprofit organizations, and helps charitable New Yorkers achieve their philanthropic aims. With a large fund dedicated to projects of national and international significance, The Trust offers environmental grantmaking that has a global scope. It supports projects that address climate change, preserve biological diversity through habitat conservation, and reduce toxin levels that are hazardous to human health. Grants aim to minimize fossil fuel use through energy efficiency, alternative energy, and better transportation options.
They also promote land conservation and smart growth strategies, reforming destructive agricultural and industrial practices and fostering clean production practices and safer chemical use.