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Kresge Foundation awards $100,000 grant to the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts to build climate resilience, improve health

The Kresge Foundation has awarded the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts a $100,000 grant to advance policy solutions aimed at improving climate resilience and equitably reducing health risks in low-income communities. The Springfield Climate Justice Initiative, a new project of the Live Well Springfield coalition convened by the Public Health Institute, is one of 15 community-based collaborations nationwide receiving grant funding as part of the planning phase of Kresge’s Climate Change, Health and Equity initiative.

The Springfield Climate Justice Initiative will focus on planning and implementing strategies identified in the 2017 Strong, Healthy, & Just: Springfield Climate Action & Resilience Plan for reducing GHG emissions and improving climate resilience in Springfield, Massachusetts. Our planning will focus on developing front-line residents’ capacity to accelerate municipal action on the top GHG emissions reduction strategies included in the Climate Action Plan.

With this funding, the collaborators who worked together to develop the city’s Strong, Healthy & Just Plan—the Public Health Institute of Western MassachusettsPioneer Valley Planning CommissionArise for Social Justice, and the City of Springfield —will work with partners from other sectors to develop multi-year work plans to address community-defined health and climate priorities. Our new partners in this Live Well Springfield initiative are Way FindersEner-G-Save and the City of Springfield’s new Sustainability Coordinator.  Specific activities will include building the capacity of residents and stakeholders related to climate action and its health equity impacts, conducting additional research to rank and prioritize climate actions as well as identifying the health equity impacts of proposed actions. 

“With a ten-year opportunity to avert the worst consequences of our climate crisis, this grant will give us the opportunity to build, nurture and develop community leadership and advocacy to accelerate implementation of the city’s 2017 climate plan,” said Jessica Collins, Executive Director of the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts.

 “Climate change is impacting people in real ways – today.  The good news is that community leaders across the country are making smart choices about how they can combat climate change while improving people’s lives and well-being, Lois DeBacker, managing director of the foundation’s Environment Program, said. “Our newly awarded grants will help more communities proactively tackle the health risks that climate change introduces or exacerbate.”

Following the one-year planning phase, Kresge will award multi-year grants to up to 12 planning grant recipients.  

The organizations will be supported by the Institute for Sustainable Communities, which serves as the national program office for the planning phase of the community-based strategy of the Climate Change, Health & Equity initiative. ISC’s mission is to help communities around the world address environmental, economic and social challenges to build a better future shaped and shared by all. For more information on the Climate Change, Health & Equity initiative, visit www.kresge.org/CCHE.

“Guess what I did?” Resident Advocate Role Model Campaign Press Conference

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Springfield Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris, City Councilors  Tracye Whitfield and Jesse will join the Live Well Springfield Resident Advocates and member organizations for the kick-off of its “Guess What I Did” Resident Advocate Role Model Campaign. The press conference will be on August 23rd at Duryea Way Park on Stearns Street form 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM. The Guess What I Did? Campaign highlights the power we have as everyday people in making a difference in our community. We feature 6 experienced role models from across the city who truly believe in the power of leading by example. Over the next year, the coalition will tell the stories of their efforts to improve lighting, safe streets, and school food in Springfield. 

Guess What I Did? Campaign Kickoff Media Advisory

Springfield schools open $21M culinary and food center described as a national model

A decade-long dream turned to reality on Friday when Springfield schools and local officials celebrated the opening of a $21 million, state-of-the-art Culinary and Nutrition Center that will serve 30,000 students daily. City and school officials, students, and representatives of Sodexo Food Service Company were part of a large crowd gathered for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new center, at 75 Cadwell Drive, in East Springfield. The event included music from the High School of Science and Technology band, a flag-raising ceremony and raves from guest speakers.


Bike Week- Complete Streets Demo Day May 11th -19th

Bike enthusiasts, municipalities and transportation partners have once again scheduled a great slate of activities for the 20th Annual Pioneer Valley chapter of Bay State Bike Week. This is a week that celebrates bicycling as a means of transportation as well as recreation and highlights new sections of shared use paths, improvements to local roads, and the wealth of energy and enthusiasm of the Pioneer Valley biking community. http://www.pvpc.org/content/20th-annual-pioneer-valley-bay-state-bike-week-%E2%80%93-may-11th-%E2%80%93-19th

Age-Friendly City Summit June 13th at the Ray Jordan Senior Center

The Live Well Springfield Coalition will be presenting their findings, and recommendation for an Age-Friendly Springfield on June 13th for 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM at the Ray Jordan Senior Center. The Age-Friendly Advisory Coalition, convened by LWS and the Public Health Institute of Western Mass, funded by a two-year grant from Tufts Health Plan Foundation, has led an assessment of the current housing and transportation conditions for seniors living in Springfield. Over the two years, the AFC Committee conducted a variety of community assessment strategies including but not limited to; walk audits, key informant interviews, focus groups, and workshop.  In addition, the coalition engaged senior residents throughout the assessment process to uncover their experience and perspectives. At the summit community resident and local partner will discuss plans and ideas to make Springfield an Age- Friendly City. To register for this event please click the link below.