Grants for sustainable community
Student grant applications, which could award up to $3,000, are due to the University of Idaho Sustainability Center Oct. 2.
The UISC provides student-led grants to those who engage in projects dedicated to sustainability. The Sustainability Center also awards Office of Community Partnerships grants to students, staff and faculty who are dedicated to projects and organizations for the betterment of the community.
UISC Project Coordinator Wieteke Holthuijezen said they are offering $9,000 in grants and up to $3,000 per grant for the student-led grants.
$6,000 is available through the Office of Community Partnerships with a limitation of $2,000 per student. She said $4,000 of OCP grants are available for UI faculty.
Holthuijezen said the OCP grants are new this year and the Sustainability Center and the Office of Community Partnerships have in a sense become merged. She said in the future it might be possible for the two grants to be in one pool.
Holthuijzen said she works with grant recipients the whole year to make sure they keep on track with their grants and make the process easier for them along the way.
Grant proposals are due by 10 p.m. Oct. 2 and students and faculty have until the end of April to complete their projects. Holthuijezen said that a year is not a long time to complete a grant project, which is the reason why the Sustainability Center has students and faculty start so early.
Holthuijezen and the Sustainability Center and the Office of Community Partnerships had a required grant-writing workshop Tuesday with students and faculty.
She said she thinks the events they hold are effective because the Sustainability Center and Office of Community Partnerships bring in experienced grant-writers and the grant evaluation committee. Holthuijezen said she tries to work with students because she has written a grant.
“How I got my job really was writing a grant and getting funded,” she said.
As project coordinator Holthuijezen said she has the freedom to pursue projects that interest her to advance the UISC’s mission. She said last year she engaged in sustainable cooking workshops and this year she is working with soils, specifically student-lead organic farming.
“We try to bring in a lot of people with a lot of experience, but also a lot of different perspectives on grants,” Holthuijezen said.
She said this gives students a chance to talk to people who know what they are talking about.
This includes OCP Associate Director Darren Saul.Holthuijezen said he is known as the “5 million dollar man” because he has written many grants over the years resulting in thousands of dollars in grant money for the Sustainability Center and Office of Community Partnerships for research projects.
Holthuijezen said UI senior Cindy Richards is applying for a grant to fund her project this year.
Richards said she is working on her proposal for a smoke-free campus at UI.
“I don’t think anyone has a family member that hasn’t died from smoking,” Richards said.
She said one of the problems she has run into along the way is smoking being considered a social issue and only affecting the smoker. She said smoking affects non-smokers through second-hand smoke, as well as the environment.
“One in three cigarette butts get littered and facilities spend a nickel per cigarette butt littered on campus,” Richards said.
Richards said she hopes to get the grant to pay for surveys, clothing and advertisements in the commons for her campaign.
“We need the majority of students behind us on this,” she said.
Richards said other colleges in the state of Idaho such as Boise State University, Idaho State University and Lewis and Clark State College have all become smoke-free.
“I want this to be our initiative because it’s the right thing to do,” she said.
Aaron Wolfe can be reached at email@example.com