Four Invitation-Only Grants Awarded
At its quarterly meeting in Newport, RI, The 1772 Foundation awarded invitation-only grants totaling $375,000 to four recipients.
The Church Community Housing Corporation, fiscal agent for a coalition of Newport organizations and concerned citizens, received a grant of $100,000 toward the purchase of the site of Newport’s town spring, currently the location of a gasoline station/automobile repair shop. Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (March 16, 1639) note “the Plantation now begun at this South west end of the island, shall be called Newport…the Towne shall be built upon both sides of the spring, and by the sea-side Southward.” Purchase of the site will rescue this historic plot of land from commercial use. It instead will be conserved and protected for use as public open space in perpetuity, linking the historic vistas that surround it.
A grant of $100,000 was made to New York Harbor Foundation’s Billion Oyster Project (BOP), a long-term, large-scale plan to restore one billion live oysters to New York Harbor over the next 20 years and educate young people in New York City about the ecology and economy of their local marine environment. In order to expand its remote setting and reef building operations to achieve its goals, a steady and increased supply of oyster shell is needed for substrate on which millions of lab-grown larvae will be seeded or set. The 1772 Foundation grant will fund BOP’s shell recycling program with local restaurants, which, in addition to being cost effective, reduces landfill waste in the tons per year. It also is extremely popular with businesses as it reduces costs, increases customer satisfaction, and demonstrates a commitment to the environment and sustainability. 1772 funds will be used to purchase a collection vehicle as well as other items needed to expand the shell recycling effort.
The Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation (PTHP) was awarded a grant of $75,000 for its Daufuskie Endangered Places Program (DEPP), which also received earlier funding from The 1772 Foundation. Daufuskie, a sea island off the South Carolina coast, is accessible only by boat. It was home to many freed slaves, known as the Gullah, who settled there after the Civil War. Gullah descendants continue to own island property and keep alive the rich heritage of their ancestors. DEPP employs a new historic preservation model. The PTHP leases a house, rehabilitates it while respecting its historical integrity, and rents it to those who want to experience Daufuskie by staying in a Gullah-built cottage. When the rental income and any donations return the initial investment, the property lease can be cancelled and full use of the house returned to its owner(s). Every home saved is on the National Register of Historic Places as contributing to the Daufuskie Historic District.
Lastly, The 1772 Foundation awarded Pinelands Preservation Alliance (PPA) $100,000 to be used to acquire, operate and expand a canoe and kayak livery operation, which serves two iconic Pine Barrens rivers, the Batsto and the Mullica Rivers in Wharton State Forest. PPA will create a financially sustainable operation, named Pinelands Adventures, which will bring thousands of people to the Pine Barrens for active recreation, provide wilderness experiences for disadvantaged youth and families and connect people from many walks of life with the conservation ethic and Pinelands preservation movement. The Pinelands Preservation Alliance has been working to protect the Pinelands for 25 years as the only organization devoted specifically to New Jersey’s Pinelands.