Community Solutions to Improve Environmental Health
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is now accepting applications for new grants that will fund projects to ensure every community has a healthy environment in which to live, learn, work, and play.
The Colorado Environmental Justice Grant Program: Community Solutions to Improve Environmental Health will fund projects that help measure, prevent, or reduce pollution in disproportionately impacted communities. Disproportionately impacted communities include low-income communities, communities of color, communities disproportionately impacted by pollution and climate change, and some other categories. Funds also can help pay for technical assistance to help community organizations most effectively participate in rulemaking hearings or permitting proceedings. You can use the Colorado EnviroScreen to check if your community is eligible for the grants.
The Environmental Justice Act created this grant opportunity to help communities disproportionately impacted by pollution and climate change. The Environmental Justice Advisory Board oversees the program and will also serve as the selection committee for the grants.
The department launched the first round of funding for the Environmental Justice Grant Program in October 2022. The program received a total of 27 grant applications and the Advisory Board selected 8 projects to receive a total of $1 million. Read more about the success of these projects.
After a successful first year of the program, CDPHE is now set to open round 2 of applications. The following organizations may apply:
- Non-profit organizations.
- Local governments.
- Federally-recognized tribal governments.
- Other educational institutions.
- For-profit corporations.
- Grassroots organizations.
The Environmental Justice Grant Program will fund projects that measure, prevent, or reduce pollution to improve public health or restore the environment. Projects can focus on any of the following topics:
- Air quality.
- Water quantity and quality.
- Land use.
- Built environment.
- Natural assets (such as wetlands, tree planting, and native plants).
- Soil quality.
- Historical industrial contamination.
Grants can also fund projects that help community members participate in public engagement opportunities when CDPHE makes new rules about protecting the environment.
A new component of this year’s grant opportunity is a non-competitive Tribal government set aside of $100,000 for the Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute Indian Tribes ($50,000 for each Tribe). More information about the Tribal government set aside is available in the Request for Applications.
The Environmental Justice Program will host English and Spanish informational webinars in October about the grant application process.
Please refer to the following important dates:
- September 19: Request For Applications launches.
- October 5 from 5:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m. - First bilingual (interpreted) virtual informational webinar for interested applicants with time for questions and answers. Access the webinar recording here. The webinar covered the following topics:
- Details on eligibility criteria.
- How to apply for the grant.
- Demonstration of how to use Colorado EnviroScreen.
- October 23 from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. - Second bilingual virtual informational webinar. Access the webinar recording here.
- November 8, 2023, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Virtual open office hours for technical assistance with grant applications.
- December 11, 2023 - Deadline to submit questions and request technical assistance
- December 19, 2023 - Grant application deadline
- July 1, 2024 - Grant projects are funded and work begins
You can submit questions in the Zoom Q&A box during the webinars or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current Grantees: Colorado Environmental Justice Grants Program
The Environmental Justice Advisory Board selected the following projects to receive funding under the first year of the Colorado Environmental Justice Grants Program:
San Juan Basin Public Health- $77,329.00
City of Las Animas- $55,000.00
Walking Mountains Science Center- $154,191.00
Black Parents United Foundation- $184,942.81
Americas for the Arts Inc. dba Americas for Conservation + the Arts- $199,385.19
Project Protect Food Systems Workers- $124,163.00
The Green House Connection Center- $127,890.00
Boulder Watershed Collective- $77,099.00
Learn more about the selected projects for the EJ grant program that will receive funding for the period of July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024, here.
Other potential funding opportunities
- CDPHE Funding Opportunities Page
- Health Disparities and Community Grant Program
- Recycling Grants and Support
- CDPHE Supplemental Environmental Projects
- EPA Environmental Justice Grants
- Outdoor Equity Grant Program
- Colorado Nonprofit Association
- EPA Community Change Grants - $2 billion in funding - NOW OPEN
- 2024 Safe Routes to Parks Colorado Activating Communities
- EPA Climate Pollution Reduction Grants
- Equity in Arts Learning for Colorado Youth
Technical assistance organizations
Many organizations offer free resources to help communities with environmental justice concerns. For example, they may provide technical assistance on grant applications.
- Anthropocene Alliance
- Environmental Protection Network
- Justice40 Accelerator & Featured Funding Opportunities
- Thriving Earth Exchange
- EPA Thriving Community Technical Assistance Centers (TCTACs)
You can access the Request for Application (RFA) materials from cycle one (2022-2023) here. If you would like to listen to the previously recorded informational webinars from cycle one (2022-2023) you can access those recordings here. All questions asked during the webinars and submitted by email during cycle one (2022-2023) were posted to our public Q&A/FAQ document.