Press Release: The Hitchcock Center Receives Funding from the EPA’s Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem Solving Cooperative Agreement Program Funded by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act
Amherst, MA, November 7, 2023— The Hitchcock Center for the Environment has been selected to receive $500,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for expanding and deepening community-based air pollution monitoring, training and education in the Connecticut River Valley region by adding rural communities to the urban partners already engaged in the Healthy Air Network, incorporating extreme heat as a related climate risk, and supporting youth engagement and action.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced more than $2 million to fund five projects across Massachusetts that advance environmental justice as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. The organizations, which EPA has selected through its Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem Solving Cooperative Agreement program, will use the funds to ensure disadvantaged communities that have historically suffered from underinvestment have access to clean air and water and climate resilience solutions in alignment with the Biden-Harris administration’s Justice40 Initiative.
“The climate crisis isn’t just on our doorsteps, it is in our classrooms and our homes, and it doesn’t hit our communities equally from Boston to Springfield,” said Senator Markey. “I applaud the EPA for awarding more than $2 million to environmental justice communities across Massachusetts so that all Bay Staters can breathe clean air, stay healthy and safe, save their hard-earned money, and put the principles of the Green New Deal revolution into practice to lower costs and save our planet.”
“More communities than ever are on the front lines of fighting climate change,” Congressman James P. McGovern (D-MA) said. “This grant to Amherst’s Hitchcock
Center for the Environment will expand the Commonwealth’s Healthy Air Network in the Connecticut River Valley, acknowledging the specific struggles facing rural
communities. Poor air quality and extreme heat don’t just affect our health, but can hurt our food system, wildlife, and other parts of our ecosystem. Engaging in this work
means we are committed to long-overdue investments in the environment and to creating a better world for our children and grandchildren.”
“The Hitchcock Center is honored to be collaborating with the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts and many other community partners in our region to address
the intersection of air quality, climate change, and health,” said Billy Spitzer, Executive Director of the Hitchcock Center. “This work is central to our efforts to develop hopeful, creative problem-solvers who can take on the environmental challenges we face.”
“We are pleased to continue our collaboration with Hitchcock Center, as well as our other partners Yale University, the Cities of Springfield and Holyoke, ReGreen Springfield, Earthwatch, the Massachusetts Asthma Action Partnership, and our Resident Advisors,” Jessica Collins, Executive Director of the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts says. “We are committed to bringing this valuable resource to our region. This tool is helping residents understand air quality and its impact on health and well-being.”
The Hitchcock Center for the Environment helps people reconnect to and learn from nature’s efficient systems and develop a problem-solving mindset. It provides opportunities for people of all ages to develop a relationship with nature; leads sustainable engineering and design challenges for youth; teaches communication, organization, and leadership skills to teens; and convenes adults for discourse and civic engagement around climate change and sustainability. The Center is excited to broaden its impact throughout the Connecticut River Valley region with the Healthy Air Network, supporting youth and community engagement and action.
For more information contact Kim Snyder, Director of Development and Communications at (413) 256-6006.
ABOUT THE HITCHCOCK CENTER
Through its experiential programs and sustainable living building, the Hitchcock Center provides people with lifelong learning opportunities to connect more deeply with the
natural world and with each other, motivating and equipping them to take action for a sustainable future. The mission of the Hitchcock Center is to educate and to inspire action for a healthy planet. We envision a world where people, communities, and ecosystems thrive.
Kim Snyder, Director of Development and Communications
W (413) 256-6006.
Billy Spitzer, Executive Director, Hitchcock Center for the Environment