Building a sustainable urban farm on the grounds of an established United Methodist Church in North Linden. Creating a sensory garden and trails that increase accessibility for individuals with disabilities. Supporting Earth Day 2023 beautification projects such as tree, seedling, and pollinator plantings. These are just a few of the diverse projects that received grants from The Green Funds at The Columbus Foundation in 2022.
Established in 2011 by a group of committed donors, The Green Funds seeks to support nonprofit organizations that are working to make the community smarter, healthier, cleaner, and more eco-friendly. The idea of a dedicated fund at The Columbus Foundation for conservation efforts was first pioneered in 2001, when Conservation Committee members Ellen Tripp, Anne Powell-Riley, Irene Probasco, Ed Hutchins, Dan Prater, and Bill Wolfe established The Conservation Fund. The fund, with support from Sally Hoffman and Beth Crane, eventually grew into The Green Funds.
This year, The Green Funds granted a total of $210,723 to local nonprofit organizations, the single largest grantmaking year for The Green Funds since its inception.
For Bill Habig, Chair of The Green Funds Board of Trustees, this historic year of grantmaking demonstrates the growing support of the community to promote the responsible use of our natural resources and ensure the availability of these resources for future generations.
“The growth in our grantmaking reflects the needs of local environmental nonprofits as well as our increased resources from Green Funds board members and others who support The Columbus Foundation,” said Habig.
Left: Franklinton Farms’ U-Pick Garden. Right (pictured l–r): Victoria Prokup, Community Research and Grants Management Administrator at The Columbus Foundation with The Green Funds Trustees Mark Real (Vice Chair), Anne Powell-Riley, Frances Beasley, Beth Crane, and Jerry Smith.
“What stands out for me is the strong dedication of our Green Funds trustees and applicants, the ever-increasing number of methods local nonprofits are using to improve our environment, and the growing number of contributions to our cause.”
During a recent tour of Franklinton Farms, which has received several grants from The Green Funds over the years, Mark Real, Vice Chair of The Green Funds Board of Trustees, said that having a dedicated, established fund like The Green Funds is vital to protecting the community’s natural resources especially since the region is on the cusp of major growth.
“For more than a decade, The Green Funds has supported initiatives that are looking forward,” explained Real. “What should Columbus look like in the next 50 years? How do we preserve green space? Do we have enough parks and recreation? To have a group in place that’s thinking about these issues is really important.”
As more individuals, nonprofit organizations, and businesses work together to protect the environment, promote sustainability, and respond to a changing climate, The Green Funds remains ready to support local organizations that exemplify environmental leadership in action.
“For more than a decade, The Green Funds has supported initiatives that are looking forward. What should Columbus look like in the next 50 years? How do we preserve green space? Do we have enough parks and recreation? To have a group in place that’s thinking about these issues is really important.
Mark Real, Vice Chair of The Green Funds Board of Trustees
“From scenic nature trails and waterways to vibrant community gardens and public parks, the central Ohio region offers a unique array of natural resources right outside our doorsteps,” said Dan Sharpe, Vice President for Community Research and Grants Management at The Columbus Foundation.
“As our community continues to grow and confront the realities of climate change, The Columbus Foundation is proud to support organizations that are harnessing the power of education, community dialogue, and hands-on activities to promote environmental stewardship.”
To learn more about The Green Funds, visit cbusfdn.org/greenfunds.