Three Harford organizations receive Keep Maryland Beautiful grants – Baltimore Sun
Haven of Grace Alliance, Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway, and Harford Land Trust Inc. have received state grants that will assist in environmental stewardship in Harford County.
The grants were distributed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Forever Maryland Program, which awarded 85 grants totaling $320,000 statewide for environmental education, community cleanup and beautification projects as part of the Keep Maryland Beautiful program.
“Keep Maryland Beautiful grants help improve, support and strengthen communities across our state,” said Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio. “These local initiatives also help Maryland achieve our goals of cleaner water and access to green space for all of our citizens.”
The Havre de Grace Alliance and the Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway have both received the Clean Up & Green Up Maryland grant. Established in 2017, the grant helps community groups and nonprofits conduct neighborhood beautification activities, including litter removal, greening activities, community education, and citizen stewardship.
The Havre de Grace Alliance plans to use the funds to support the ongoing efforts of the Citizens Against Trash Club of Havre de Grace, as well as an expanded education program in coordination with local schools. Funds will also go towards cleaning supplies and stipends for interns to manage social media for Citizens Against Trash Club marketing.
The Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway plans to use the funds to support the annual River Sweep cleanup event by providing supplies, safety gear and registration materials.
Harford Land Trust Inc. was awarded the Janice Hollmann Grant, which is awarded to Maryland land trusts to build capacity, support community programming and innovation, and foster better-connected land trusts. All grants require 100% matching from the land trust of in-kind services and privately raised funds. The grant is awarded in memory of Janice Hollmann, who exemplified citizen leadership of local land trusts in Maryland, according to a news release.
Harford Land Trust Inc. plans to use the funding to support three projects: strategic land conservation, easement stewardship and the completion of its strategic plan.
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Additionally, Kristen Kirkwood, Executive Director of the Land Trust, received the Aileen Hughes Award “for recognition as an exemplary conservation partner, Kristin’s leadership, hard work, innovation and dedication as Director executive of the Harford Land Trust are commendable,” according to the announcement on the Department of Natural Resources website. “Kristin Kirkwood’s qualities as a leader, partner, innovator and high performer exemplify the spirit of the Aileen Hughes Award .”
The Aileen Hughes Award comes with a $5,000 grant and is awarded to an individual representing a Maryland land trust for outstanding leadership, partnership and innovation in a conservation project, according to the Department of Resources website. natural. The grant is awarded annually in honor of the late Aileen Hughes, a leader in the conservation movement.
These annual grants are funded by the Maryland Environmental Trust, Forever Maryland, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, and the Maryland Department of Transportation.
“We are thrilled with the success we have seen through the grant program,” said Nick Dilks, president of Forever Maryland. “This program will continue to have a significant impact on the environment, economy, health, and recreation throughout Maryland through these new grant projects.”
Keep Maryland Beautiful grantees included schools, nonprofit groups, municipalities, and land trusts in 20 counties and the city of Baltimore.
Many grants aim to develop and support communities, families, youth and students who take personal responsibility for the health of their communities, to protect nature and to seek ways to help reduce or solve environmental problems.
“It is important to MDOT’s mission that we contribute to environmental stewardship throughout Maryland,” said Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary James F. Ports Jr. this year—which includes funds to purchase native shrubs, remove invasive species, educate students, and maintain a pollinator garden—builds on the department’s commitment to preserve our ecosystem. I look forward to seeing these projects flourish.