Cleveland, OH (May 15, 2018) – At a reception at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium this evening, the Alliance for the Great Lakes’ Cleveland Young Professional Council will announce its first-ever grant awards. The Council, formed in September 2017, will award two grants to support innovative local water projects. The projects fund efforts to reduce local water pollution and improve access to Lake Erie.

The Alliance for the Great Lakes Young Professional Councils aim to engage the next generation of Great Lakes leaders. The flagship council began in Chicago in 2016, and a second council launched in Cleveland in 2017. In Cleveland, the Alliance assembled a diverse group of young professionals who are passionate about the Cleveland community, Lake Erie, clean water, and projects that will benefit them. Eighteen young professionals were selected to make up the Alliance’s inaugural Cleveland Young Professional Council. The Council members represent a wide range of career fields from the environmental sciences to local arts and culture initiatives, business, and higher education.

As one of their first projects, the Council developed a small grants program to support innovative local clean water projects that benefit Lake Erie. In the 2018 grant application, the Council sought projects that focused on community and improved local watershed health, celebrated the area’s waterways, or educated community members about local water issues.

The Council members received more than 15 applications for local projects and are awarding $7,500 in grants to two Cleveland projects. The Council’s 2018 funded grantees are:

  • Northeast Shores Development Corporation: The Northeast Shores Development Corporation’s project focuses on reducing water pollution in Cleveland neighborhoods. The project grant supports completion of two bioswales in the Collinwood neighborhood. Bioswales are an environmentally responsible and attractive method for reducing debris and pollution from surface runoff water.
  • Julia Van Wagenen: Julia’s project is focused on improving and beautifying community access to Edgewater Park, specifically the Lake Road railroad bridge underpass. The project grant supports supplies for a community clean-up day and programs throughout the summer and fall including Lake Erie themed art in the park, a summer pop-up event at the bridge site, community artwork installation, and fall planting.

To learn more about the Council, visit the Alliance for the Great Lakes Young Professional Council webpage.

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Media contact: Destinee Henton, dhenton@greatlakes.org, (513) 827-5515