The Environment

ENVIRONMENT (& EDUCATION) GOAL #1: Assure access to experiential environmental education for public school students that is regular, systematic, integrated with curricula, and connected with “real world” community initiatives such as Grand River restoration, renewable energy & efficiency, water conservation and protection, addressing climate change, wildlife habitat conservation and sustainable food systems. 

Illustrative grants: City of Grand Rapids Parks and Recs – Hands on experiential outdoor education through Canoe Mobile; Friends of Grand Rapids Parks – Tree planting in sensitive ecosystems at public schools integrated with curricula;Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds – Engage urban youth in projects reducing urban and agricultural run-off pollution of two Grand River watersheds.

ENVIRONMENT GOAL #2: Develop and implement long-term strategy to restore, protect, and make available for appropriate uses by all the lower Grand River watershed, including restoration of the namesake rapids in downtown Grand Rapids.

Illustrative grants:  American Rivers – Green storm water banking and financing; River Network – Empower Latino community to support restoration and protection of waterways; Ottawa County Parks Foundation – Support multi-use pathway and protecting key natural features from city limits of GR downstream to river mouth at Lake Michigan; West Michigan Environmental Action Council – Green stormwater runoff management practices in underserved neighborhoods.

ENVIRONMENT GOAL #3: Assure Grand Rapids continues to be a national and international leader in its commitment to sustainable development, i.e. “Economicology.”

Illustrative grants: Habitat for Humanity – Green home upgrades for affordable housing; Green Home Institute – Green home certification programs for affordable housing projects; Inner City Christian Federation – Upgrade approximately 150 single family affordable homes to certified green homes.

Stories about the Wege Foundation's Commitment to the Environment