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Cincinnati offering small grants as 'Seeds of Change' for community climate projects

Becca Costello
One of Price Hill's many community gardens.

The city of Cincinnati is offering small grants of between $1,000 and $20,000 as part of the Green Cincinnati Plan. The "Seeds of Change" program is for community-initiated projects that support sustainability, equity, and climate resilience.

Director of the Office of Environment and Sustainability Ollie Kroner says he hopes to see a lot of innovative ideas.

"We're trying not to be too prescriptive," Kroner said. "We heard a lot about local tree-planting efforts, community gardens, climate adaptation measures — whether that's addressing stormwater issues or urban heat island issues."

The grants will be administered through the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, but a group of community members will decide which projects receive funding.

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"This is an attempt at what some people might call 'participatory budgeting,' where we're making dollars available for community decision-making," Kroner said. "I think if we can show the impact of these dollars, we hope to be able to raise more dollars for this type of grant opportunity in the future. [We're] trying to demonstrate the impact of community-scale climate work."

Each project needs to partner with a nonprofit organization as a sponsor, which could be a community council or one of many local climate organizations, like Green Umbrella.

Applications are due April 30 and awards will be announced by mid-June. Projects are expected to start and finish by the end of the year, with final reports due in early 2025.

Learn more and apply on the city's website.

Local Government Reporter with a particular focus on Cincinnati; experienced journalist in public radio and television throughout the Midwest. Enthusiastic about: civic engagement, public libraries, and urban planning.