“We are excited to help activate the vision for a green and thriving West Atlanta,” said Felicia Davis, founder of the HBCU Green Fund in the release. “The Bezos Earth Fund investment in Atlanta is a model for sustainable development, honors principles of environmental justice, and prioritizes advancing equity.”
The group’s release said the announcement comes as “greening” U.S. cities is growing nationwide. The Inflation Reduction Act committed $1.5 billion to increase equitable access to green spaces and advance the Justice40 initiative, an environmental justice action that designates 40% of federal climate and environment investments to disadvantaged communities.
The Greening America’s Cities initiative kicked-off Monday with an initial $50 million investment that includes the Atlanta funding. Other included cities are Albuquerque, Chicago and Los Angeles.
“The grantees are integral in leading these groundbreaking projects to advance nature in their communities. Their work includes community engagement, land acquisition, project design and construction, local training, and long-term maintenance,” the release said.
Atlanta projects include $1 million to On Da Farm that the group anticipates will help supply 1,500 families with produce at their weekly farmers’ market. Gangstas to Growers is also receiving $1 million, which will go to regenerative agriculture production across 30 farms on Black-owned land, according to the release. The group also expects 40 new jobs to at-risk and formerly incarcerated youth to come out of this investment.
The Partnership for Southern Equity received the largest sum, $3.5 million, dedicated to a couple local initiatives. The investment will scale the Just Green Hub which is piloting urban greening and climate resilience initiatives through its Just Communities program, according the the release.
“This generous support from the Bezos Earth Fund will support work to build a strong equity ecosystem, especially in marginalized communities where the negative effects of climate change have had the greatest impact,” said Nathaniel Smith, founder and Chief Equity Officer of the Partnership for Southern Equity in the release.
The Greening America’s Cities initiative builds on the Earth Fund’s earlier $300 million in funding to climate and environmental justice groups in the U.S. The group’s release provided more information on each city’s projects and a complete list of the grantees accessible here.
A note of disclosure
This coverage is supported by a partnership with 1Earth Fund, the Kendeda Fund and Journalism Funding Partners. You can learn more and support our climate reporting by donating at https://www.ajc.com/donate/climate/