Onondaga Lake Partnership Further Invests in the Lake Watershed by Funding Projects Addressing Environmental Issues and Community Outreach.
Posted on: 04/15/2012 03:55 AM

The Onondaga Lake Partnership is pleased to announce the selection of nine grants for community based work in the Onondaga Lake watershed. The purpose of this mini-grant program is to support locally based projects designed to increase the knowledge and involvement of the public in Onondaga Lake and its watershed and strengthen the link between communities and the Partnership.

The Partnership provides a framework to improve water quality, natural resources, and recreational uses of the Lake to the benefit of the public and also fosters the participation of citizens, interested groups, businesses, and educational institutions from the community. http://www.onlakepartners.org/

The projects were selected based on their significance for addressing community and Onondaga watershed environmental issues, their innovation and technical or scientific approaches, their emphasis on promoting partnerships and demonstration of a plan to produce clear and tangible results. The projects represent a broad base of hands-on groups and organizations, community organizations, environmental groups, and academic institutions.

The selected grants are:

• Alchemical Nursery: $3,990 to plant an edible forest garden in an underserved area of the South Side of Syracuse to transform the cityscape from vacant lawns and lots to forested ecosystems that contribute to biodiversity and provide green infrastructure benefits towards watershed health.

• Atlantic States Legal Foundation: $5,000 to conduct sociological research within the Syracuse immigrant community to ascertain the groups/languages that are the most pertinent for targeting with an Onondaga Lake fish consumption advisory message, and how that message should most appropriately be conveyed based on the target group’s social and cultural proclivities. They will also craft and translate said message/information into a deliverable package, and finally, deliver, disseminate, and promote comprehension of the message through a multitude of interactive means.
• CNY Regional Planning & Development Board: $2,000 to print a comprehensive brochure that will be publically available at municipal buildings in each of the 18 cities, towns and villages located in the Onondaga Lake Watershed in order to increase homeowner awareness of the impacts of phosphorus on Onondaga Lake water quality and to promote awareness of the new NYS Dishwasher and Fertilizer Law.
• Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County: $4,250 to develop and offer two workshops for the Otisco Lake shoreline property landowners to maintain and update sewer systems and mitigate sewage leaching into the Lake and surrounding watershed in order to promote homeowner best management practices to prevent non-point source pollution from septic system failure.
• Onondaga Earth Corps: $3,350 to integrate the Onondaga Creek watershed, a service component for crew members, and a tour of Save the Rain “50 sites” into the Onondaga Earth Corps (OEC) three-day orientation. They will also provide materials for a Youth-Led Project, to empower Onondaga Earth Corps youth as engaged problem-solvers to identify and implement a project that works within their communities for the betterment of Onondaga Creek and Onondaga Lake.
• REACH CNY: $4,042 to enhance the quality of their summer program, Camp Green Teen, and to greatly increase the level of engagement that participants will have with the natural resources in the region, specifically, Onondaga Lake and its watershed through educational and engaging experiences focusing on activities that help restore, protect and enhance the habitat and/or quality of Onondaga Lake.
• SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry: $5,000 to create a program to engage youth at the Onondaga Nation in educational projects, via field trips and hands-on experiences, related to ecological and biocultural restoration in the Onondaga Lake watershed to encourage Native American youth to pursue higher education in environmental sciences and foster development of the next generation of indigenous environmental leaders for the watershed.
• Syracuse University/Project ENGAGE: $2,500 to add “Onondaga Lake Engineering Day” to the current week-long program geared towards middle school girls that will combine classroom instruction and field trips to introduce the participants to Onondaga Lake and its history, concepts such as watersheds, pollution, and Superfund, as well as introduce them to a variety of real life problems created by society and to see how engineers approach these problems and systemically develop and perform remediation tasks.
• Syracuse University /Science Horizons: $2,110 to host a “Day at the Lake” field trip boat tour for 40 middle school students with guest speakers to become familiar with the history of Onondaga Lake, its pollution and the cleanup process, view progress being made on restoring the Lake, be aware of the relationship among remediation of the Lake, the Onondaga Creek cleanup efforts and the ongoing stormwater management projects, as well as many other related topics surrounding the Lake.

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