The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced that 12 organizations, including the IPM Institute of North America in Milwaukee, will receive a total of $360,000 to help address environmental justice issues in their communities. Each of the organizations will receive $30,000.
The winning organizations were selected from the large pool of applicants in 2019. The round of money is in addition to 50 organizations awarded $1.5 million in grants nationwide in November 2019.
Seven of the 12 grants selected, or almost 60%, will support communities with census tracts designated as federal Opportunity Zones — an economically-distressed community where new investment may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. Most often, those who reside near these sites are low-income, minority, and disadvantaged Americans.
The EPA’s Environmental Justice Small Grants program provides support to organizations that otherwise lack the funding and resources to address environmental challenges in underserved and overburdened communities.
The IPM Institute of North America will use the grant to conduct Pest Defense Workshops in Milwaukee Public Schools. Integrated pest management uses sanitation and exclusion strategies to reduce pest complaints and pesticide use by up to 90%. Assisted by EPA’s grant, the IPM Institute of North America will make available The Pest Defense for Healthy Schools, a free, online IPM training program developed with assistance from Milwaukee Public Schools that teaches school staff to identify and correct pest conducive conditions. Project activities will include five district-wide, in-person Pest Defense workshops, 20 on-boarding webinars for individual schools and creation of a monthly newsletter.