Traverse City News and Events

Rotary Grants Totaling $450k Heading To Local Nonprofits

Dec. 15, 2022

Rotary Charities of Traverse City has announced its fall 2022 grant award recipients, totaling $450,000 to five regional nonprofits and collaboratives. Recipients are:

TART Trails – Traverse City
Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail: The Pathway to Good Harbor – $50,000 Assets for Thriving Communities Grant
The Pathway to Good Harbor will provide nearly five miles of non-motorized trail infrastructure to the existing 22-mile Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail, which winds through the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore from Empire to Bohemian Road. The trail extension will increase universal access to the Lakeshore by offering opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to have meaningful connections to nature. This project is made possible by public/private partnerships between landowners, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes, Networks Northwest, Michigan Department of Transportation, and the Leelanau County Road Commission.

Traverse Symphony Orchestra – Traverse City
Community Music School – $50,000 Assets for Thriving Communities Grant
Building upon their current music education programs, the Traverse Symphony Orchestra plans to develop a Community Music School to serve students of all ages in the five-county region at little to no cost to families. The Music School will provide community access to a broad range of lessons and programming spanning from early childhood with parent and baby classes to seniors. 

Village of Kingsley – Kingsley
Brownson Memorial Park Renovation Project – $50,000 Assets for Thriving Communities Grant
The Village of Kingsley’s Brownson Memorial Park will undergo significant renovations to revitalize the primary community gathering space of the village. The features of the newly designed space will improve accessibility and safety and encourage use by all residents and visitors to promote a healthier, more resilient, and engaged community. The project is made possible by a $1 million grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and community partnerships between the Village of Kingsley, Kingsley DDA, Kingsley Branch Library, and The Rock of Kingsley.

SEEDS Ecology & Education Center – Traverse City
Organic Waste Diversion in Northwest Michigan – $150,000 Systems Change Accelerator Grant
With the goal of reducing the amount of organic materials sent to landfills in a 10-county area of Northern Michigan by 33 percent, SEEDS Ecology & Education Center is leading a cross-sector collaborative initiative to divert organic waste, channel investment into local “green collar” economies, enhance soil fertility and water quality, and prevent greenhouse gas emissions. Previous phases have been funded by a Rotary Charities Seed grant and a Systems Change Accelerator grant, including convening county recycling managers, the Michigan Recycling Coalition, Bay Area Recycling for Charities, and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy to identify opportunities for change within the system. In their next phase, partners will work towards a broad range of actions to encourage organic waste diversion at every level, from sources of organic waste material (like homes, restaurants, and businesses) to haulers and processors, to the end-users of value-added products.

United Way of Northwest Michigan – Traverse City
Strengthening the Early Care and Learning Workforce – $150,000 Systems Change Accelerator Grant
Even prior to the pandemic, the Early Care and Learning (ELC) system was under pressure to provide adequate access to childcare in northern Michigan, with providers identifying staffing as the single largest barrier to growth. This collaborative initiative seeks to improve access to childcare by supporting the current ECL workforce while creating more meaningful and sustainable career pathways in the field. Through a variety of actions, including developing and expanding programs to recruit and credential new teachers, supporting providers through legislation, and forging new and strengthening existing partnerships, the initiative partners hope their effort will unlock capacity to support northern Michigan’s childcare needs.

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