Greening Western Queens Fund
In the fall of 2009, North Star Fund launched the “Greening Western Queens Fund,” a new $7.9 million initiative to invest in energy-efficiency and environmental projects in the Western Queens community affected by a July 2006 electric power outage. This program is supported by funds from the community’s settlement with Con Edison. The Public Service Commission of the State of New York selected North Star Fund to administer the project because of our expertise in facilitating community led grantmaking processes.
According to Hugh Hogan, Executive Director of North Star Fund, “This is a story of a community that stood up to demand public accountability from a public utility that failed them. It’s provided an opportunity unique in the history of New York City to invest in an environmentally conscious and economically robust future of the affected neighborhoods. The community-driven process will serve as a model for the next generation of urban neighborhoods.”
Western Queens will soon see an infusion of trees, green jobs and youth environmental programs thanks to $3.39 million in grants distributed by North Star Fund. Fifteen projects have been funded with one- to three-year grants that will result in up to 850 trees, support environmental education and recycling programs, and help fund community gardens and green jobs training programs. Click here to download a pdf of the projects.
Request For Proposals (RFP)
The Greening Western Queens Fund seeks to support projects that will result in tangible, physical and visible improvements to the Long Island City, Woodside, Sunnyside, and Astoria areas. We are not currently accepting applications for the Greening Western Queens Fund. The next RFP will be released in July 2011 and the deadline will be in September 2011.
Click here for common questions about applying for a grant from the Greening Western Queens Fund.
We have developed a Greening Western Queens Fund Advisory Board of local stakeholders and environmental experts to distribute grants to local groups for tree planting, energy efficiency, job training and open space enhancement projects. The projects will incorporate conservation education and replicable models that will have a lasting impact in the neighborhood and beyond. All of the advisory board members provide unique and important expertise which will be utilized throughout the grant program. Please click here for more information about the Greening Western Queens Fund Advisory Board.
In March 2010, North Star Fund hosted two community visioning sessions for residents of Sunnyside, Astoria, Woodside, and Long Island City. Over 120 residents, organizers, community members, and experts came together to share their vision, goals, and ideas for a greener Western Queens. Visioning Session participants actively engaged in large group and small group conversations and shared their ideas for the outcomes of the three-year grants.
The outcomes of the informative visioning sessions, as well as additional outreach and landscape research and scans of current greening programs and projects in the area were used by the Advisory Board to finalize the overall vision, grant criteria, priorities, and guidelines for the Fund.