DCF Receives $500,000 Inaugural Grant from the Bezos Earth Fund for Urban Greening
The Earth Fund commits a total of $5.5 million to the Wilmington area to enhance communities with more parks, trees, and community gardens
The Delaware Community Foundation (DCF) today announced that it received a $500,000 grant from the Bezos Earth Fund to support urban greening in the Wilmington region. The Greening America’s Cities initiative is a new $400 million commitment to create more equitable access to urban greening in underserved U.S. communities.
“We are so grateful to receive this funding and are honored to work with such strong community-led initiatives in Wilmington to ensure greater access to green spaces and healthy environments,” said Sarah Hench, DCF executive vice president for strategic engagement. “We believe communities are strongest when all people have the opportunity to thrive.”
This grant will enable the DCF to host a Bezos Earth Fund Community Fellow that will partner with and support organizations working on urban greening projects in Wilmington, including those funded by the Bezos Earth Fund.
In alignment with the DCF’s Healthy Communities Delaware network (HCD), a partnership between the DCF, the University of Delaware, and the state Division of Public Health, the Community Fellow will serve as a liaison between community organizations spearheading urban greening efforts and state, local, and federal government officials.
“Green spaces are critical for people and the planet. The Bezos Earth Fund is proud to partner with local communities and government to expand urban green spaces,” said Andrew Steer, President & CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund. “In partnership, this new initiative will support historically underserved communities, supporting their health and well-being.”
There is clear evidence that “greening” U.S. cities with more — and better — parks, trees, and community gardens can improve physical and mental health, increase local resilience to climate impacts like extreme heat, and reduce energy consumption. Health benefits come from improved air quality, more physical activity, reduced heat, the stress reduction effect of green spaces, and the opportunities green spaces create for social interaction.
Historic systems of segregation, exclusion, and land dispossession have led to many communities living in nature-deprived areas. Consequently, these communities often do not benefit from nature’s benefits, like air and water purification, climate mitigation, or biodiversity.
The Earth Fund’s Greening America’s Cities initiative starts with community projects in five cities: Albuquerque, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Wilmington, Delaware. It will extend through 2030 and expand to new communities, building on its earlier $300 million in funding to climate and environmental justice groups in the U.S. For more information, visit: www.BezosEarthFund.org.