Foundation Grants Over $9.5M to Metro Detroit Organizations

Foundation Grants Over $9.5M to Metro Detroit Organizations

Today we announced over $9.5M in new and ongoing grants during our September grant cycle. See the complete grants list here.

We like to say that everyone lives on waterfront property. This is because everything people do on land – no matter if it touches water or not – ends up in one of the Great Lakes. The Foundation was proud to support two new grants to The Nature Conservancy and Huron River Watershed Council that address this.

The Nature Conservancy received $240,135 to develop tools and strategies that will help conservation organizations and government agencies coordinate efforts to protect 30% of Michigan’s land and water by 2030. This ambitious “30×30” goal is an initiative initially set by the United Nations that has been adopted by Canada and the U.S. and will provide a range of benefits including water quality, biodiversity, and climate change adaptation.

Huron River Watershed Council received $255,000 to develop a user-friendly guide and organize workshops for cities, counties, and others in Michigan who want to take action to better manage land use in their communities. This project also supports the goals of the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments’ “GREEN: Growing our Resilience, Equity, and Economy with Nature” initiative, which encourages nature-based solutions to improve the health of our region’s watersheds.

The Ecology Center received $320,000 to strengthen the collective understanding of the harm being done to communities that are overburdened by the cumulative negative impacts of air pollution. This priority was identified by the Ecology Center in its work with two dozen community partner organizations and will help advance our efforts to improve air quality in Detroit to reduce asthma triggers.

To preserve and amplify Detroit’s rich musical history, we granted $300,000 to Detroit Sound Conservancy to help the organization restore a historic jazz venue — The Blue Bird Inn —and strengthen its operations to create a community gathering space and home for its educational programming and archives. Additionally, the Foundation made $1.7 million in payments to 60 arts organizations in Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties as part of its three-year $5.2 million commitment to Detroit Arts Support.

Yesterday, we joined The Henry Ford in announcing a special grant of $5 million to support its efforts to preserve an iconic civil rights landmark — the Jackson House. The project will move the structure from its current location in Selma, Alabama, to Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan, where it will provide a means to share inspiring stories of historic figures and regular citizens whose activism helped protect voting rights for Black Americans. More details about that commitment can be found in the joint release and a blog written by John Erb and Leslie Erb Liedtke about the project’s ties to the legacy of Fred and Barbara Erb.