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Civic Impact

Let it Grow: Sprout introduces "Spring" biodiversity grants

Summer officially begins on Monday, but the Sprout Fund is currently launching a new initiative called Spring -- a grant competition focused on maintaining and increasing biodiversity in the Pittsburgh region.

The new program, launched with help from Pittsburgh Foundation, offers funding to projects that encourage and support biodiversity. Start brainstorming: Spring is launching right now, with an application period open until Sept. 24. There are two levels of grant funding available: $5,000 awards and $20,000 awards.

Spring is designed to build on Sprout's mission to support innovative ideas and grassroots community projects that catalyze change in Pittsburgh.

After World Environment Day and the "Year of Biodiversity" brought awareness of the subject to a broad swath of Pittsburghers, "this is the local takeaway of those activities more of a lasting project aimed at enhancing and preserving biodiversity," says Sprout civic engagement programs manager Dustin Stiver.

Since these particular grants have not been given previously by Sprout, the competition is "pretty wide open," he says. "We like to allow people to be creative with how they approach a challenge. What will you do to support biodiversity? Being the first time we're doing this, there's not a strong precedent that's been set" for the types of ideas Sprout will fund.

Two projects currently in the Sprout portfolio have biodiversity as their priority: One is GTECH, with its focus on vacant lot reclamation and environmental renewal of neglected land. Burgh Bees is the other. It addresses the issue of the honey bee decline, fighting the loss of bees in Pittsburgh through things like bee-keeping classes and a public apiary in Homewood.

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Writer: Melissa Rayworth
Source: Dustin Stiver, Sprout Fund
Image courtesy of Sprout Fund

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