WASHINGTON, D.C., Jul. 07 - Green America, a national nonprofit green-economy organization announced the winners of its second Green Grants contest: Urban Roots received the top prize of $2,500, while three other green projects (Cully Community Farm, Fair Trade Los Angeles, and Hiram Farm Learning and Living Community), each received a runner-up prize of $1,000 apiece.
Winners for the contest were chosen by thousands of voters across the United States, selecting their favorite green project from among ten finalists chosen by Green America staff. The ten finalists were chosen from an initial pool of 267 nominations for green projects from across the country. To qualify as a green project, and be a finalist, each nominee's work was required to address both social justice with environmental responsibility - Green America's definition of "green."
"This year we received hundreds of entries for Green Grants demonstrating the amazing work going on all over the US to create truly sustainable communities," says Todd Larsen, Green America's Corporate Responsibility Director. "We're also excited that thousands of Americans took part in voting for their favorite projects and that our winners this year are once again leading innovators in helping both people and the environment."
This year's Grand Prize winner, Urban Roots, in Austin, Texas, is a youth development program that uses sustainable agriculture as means to build entrepreneurial, leadership, and life skills amongst its participants, while producing good, local, organic food to nourish Austin residents who currently have limited access to healthy foods through hunger-relief programs.
"Ever since Urban Roots' inception in 2008, we have relied upon the generosity of thousands of enthusiastic and dedicated volunteer who help us cultivate young leaders and get their hands dirty, planting and harvest on our 3.5 acre farm," says Max Elliott, Urban Roots' program coordinator. "Urban Roots will use this green grant to purchase seeds and to pay for youth Farmers Market Intern stipends."
- Cully Community Market - An organic, local farmers' market serving a community in Portland that has been labeled a "food desert," the Cully Community Market also disburses micro-loans for local residents (including many immigrant Latina women) to establish vendor stalls in the market.
- Fair Trade Los Angeles - This LA-based non-profit organization works to make Fair Trade products more available in the southern California area, to raise awareness of Fair Trade, and to make Los Angeles into one of the largest Fair Trade Towns in the US.
- Hiram Farm Living and Learning Community - This organic farm in northern Ohio provides meaningful work for adults with autism. Organizers intend to use their green grant to purchase solar-powered vents for the farm's new barn.