Grants announced for environmental programs in Chelsea and East Boston

Boston Foundation fund distributes $130K to local organizations

March 26, 2009

Boston – The Boston Foundation has awarded $130,000 in grants from its East Boston Chelsea Environmental Fund to local organizations in the City of Chelsea and in East Boston. A total of seven grants were announced Thursday, March 26, by the Board of Directors of the Foundation, which holds the Fund. A public announcement of the grants is planned for Monday, March 30, at the East Boston YMCA.

The Fund was established in 2006, with money resulting from a legal dispute over the use of Chelsea Creek tidelands. A group of residents—20 women in all—fought against what they perceived to be an inappropriate use of waterfront land. As a result, a planned development was altered, the property in question was sold, and the new owner of the lane made a court-ordered payment which was directed to be held and dispensed by the Boston Foundation.  The fund, which originally totaled approximately $600,000, is designed to be spent down over the course of five years to maximize impact. Only nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations can apply for grants through the fund.

“This fund is a tribute to the commitment and courage of a band of local residents, who turned a local challenge into a lasting opportunity,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation . “In addition to the direct benefit this fund will create, it should inspire others---especially the children of Chelsea and East Boston—to find creative solutions to community concerns.”

The grants are aimed at two goals: to address environmental concerns in Chelsea and East Boston, and to support educational and recreational programs designed to develop the idea of environmental stewardship among young people in these communities.

The following organizations received grants:

Centro Latino De Chelsea, $10,000, for a Reduce, Reuse, Recycle project.
Chelsea Green Space, $20,000, for the Clean Air Coalition.
East Boston Harborside Community School, $18,500, for the East Boston recycling education       program,a  bilingual recycling and trash education campaign.
East Boston YMCA, $21,500, for the Urban Ecology Project at Mario Umana Middle School Academy.
Mystic River Watershed Association, $15,000, to continue the Lower Mystic Initiative through water testing, volunteer recruiting and public education.
Neighborhood of Affordable Housing, $20,000, for the Know What’s Up program, a series of six concerts and events on environmental themes.
Piers Park Sailing Center, $25,000, for expansion of Science & Sailing into a curriculum and continued support of the Harbor Explorers program for young children.

The event celebrating the new round of grants will take place Monday, March 30, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the East Boston YMCA.


The Boston Foundation , Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the nation, with assets of $763 million.  In Fiscal Year 2008, the Foundation and its donors made close to $79 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of $113 million. The Foundation is made up of some 900 separate charitable funds established by donors either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes.  The Boston Foundation also serves as a major civic leader, provider of information, convener, and sponsor of special initiatives designed to address the community’s and region’s most pressing challenges.  For more information about the Boston Foundation, visit or call 617-338-1700.