Smart Growth and Children's Health Protection Grants
The U.S. EPA awarded $130,000 to five communities to fund locally based projects that improve and create healthy environments for children. These grants represent the most innovative examples of community development and promotion that link sustainable growth policies with protecting children's health. Projects include:
- certifying neighborhoods as being lead-free
- administering walkability audits
- creating a multi-use path connecting schools
- promoting a safe routes to school program
- developing a smart growth and children's health curriculum
EPA regional offices recommended projects for funding. We selected applicantions with regional funding and support, local match of resources and significant potential for adaptability. This grant program results from collaboration between the Development, Community and Environment Division (now the Office of Sustainable Communities) of the Office of Policy, Economics and Innovation (now the Office of Policy) and the Office of Children's Health Protection.
The 2004 grant recipients include:
- Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust (LPCT): Creating the Concord River Greenway, Final Report (PDF) (15 pp, 545 K, About PDF)
LPCT used this grant to design a multi-use pedestrian and bike path that unites several communities along the Concord River in Massachusetts. The goal of the Concord River Greenway Project is to restore, maintain, and enhance the ecological integrity and social viability of the reach of the Concord River through the city of Lowell. Through neighborhood-based planning for the design of this multi-use path, civic and community leaders have worked to transform the Concord River from what has historically been a boundary between neighborhoods into a shared natural resource that unites these neighborhoods and connects them to broader regional resources that they can access nearby. Through the support from EPA and other matching funding sources and community partnerships, LPCT has been able to complete 25 percent of the design for the greenway and address complex land protection and stewardship needs to ensure the success of the greenway in perpetuity.
For more information: http://www.lowelllandtrust.org/content/concord-river-greenway
- In the City of Cleveland, Ohio, EPA will provide funding for
the City to target homes in at-risk neighborhoods that exhibit
a prevalence of lead-based paint. By reducing the exposure to
lead, children in Cleveland will be less susceptible to adverse
impacts such as anemia, nerve degeneration and impaired motor
skills. The City of Cleveland will identify target census tracts/neighborhoods
based on blood lead data. It will conduct a sweep of indoor lead
hazards throughout target census tracts/neighborhoods. Where lead
hazards are found, homes will be abated. Once abatement is complete,
a program will be established to recognize property owners who
have proactively taken steps to reduce lead hazards in homes.
Property owners will be recognized for their efforts through a
formalized credential program to help market these homes and neighborhoods
- The Healthy Neighborhoods/Healthy Kids project, administered
by the Vermont Forum on Sprawl, will link inter-school partners
in community planning. Children, with the assistance of faculty
and parents, will create a smart growth and children's health
assessment report card to audit the walkability of their community.
From the results, the program will create an education and outreach
program to train parents and local officials about the merits
of smart growth. This program will be modeled off of an existing
program in Champlain, Vermont.
Note: the Vermont Forum on Sprawl is now Smart Growth Vermont
- WalkBoston is developing an environmental curriculum that elementary
schoolteachers can use to link Safe Routes to Schools with Massachusetts
Curriculum Frameworks requirements. Project deliverables will
include the development, piloting and publishing of the curriculum,
teaching the curriculum in the classroom, evaluating the curriculum
at the end of the year, and disseminating the curriculum on the
WalkBoston website, regional walk programs, national conferences
and through AmericaWalks.
- The Smart Growth for Healthy Children program in Cocke County will team children and youth groups with other local and county organizations to understand and prioritize smart growth issues related to children. Faculty and students from the University of Tennessee Extension will facilitate participants to plan, create, implement and evaluate smart growth educational programs using art-based performances by students about children's health problems associated with "not-smart" growth. Through this process a curriculum for identifying smart growth and children's health projects will be developed for other communities to adopt.