Last Thursday was Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund’s third meeting since the $19.5 Million settlement with ExxonMobil – funding which will be granted to environmental projects only within the 11222 area code – that’s us Greenpoint!

The meeting at the Warsaw was well organized and very informative. There was a vibrant and packed house of community members and organizers who were eager to learn how to apply for funding. ExxonMobil was not present and it was mentioned that they were asked not to attend the meeting as they don’t have a say in how the funds will be used.

Highlights were at the end of the meeting, during the Q & A – obviously. One young woman stood up and spoke about her non-profit that aims to create a spiritual synergy with the environment, which got a priceless eyeroll from a woman in a Jets Jersey. More importantly questions were asked in regards to bio-remediation projects and Stephen Levin mentioned the importance of funding for public health surveys. The meeting broke up when an elderly man stood up and ranted about the waterfront towers, asking if they are for the rich and whether normal people will get screwed. Gotta love it!


But this meeting has NOTHING to do with Greenpoint Landing, but rather about a good thing – a chance to make significant improvements for the environment here with a significant amount of money.

There was a lot of power pointing and deadlines, but the gist of the meeting is that funding will be granted to projects that aim to improve, restore and protect our Greenpoint environment with the guidance of a partnership between North Brooklyn Development Corp and National Fish and Wildlife. And the good news is there is assistance available during the application process for those of us who might not be experienced in grant writing.

The design process was presented as a “bottom-up, community based program” which will favor projects within the community over those from organizations that are not based here. There was discussion about funding matching, meaning if you want money – then you need to be able to also match the amount you are asking for. This was definitely a turn off for individuals and smaller organizations – the little guys – who don’t have funding to begin with. The response was that this was a way to keep larger organizations, who are not embedded in the community, either out of the process or make sure that if they are accepted that they bring even more money to the table, which is a good thing.

So what are they looking for in these proposals? Among the many possible projects, open space, soil, air and water improvement, urban greening and waterfront infrastructure are on the table.

Who can apply? Non-profits, government agencies and academics as well as local non-profits, local businesses, community associations and residents who are working in partnership with a community based organization and can receive funding via a fiscal sponsor.

There are three types of grants: Small ($5-25,000) Large ($25,000-2 million) and Legacy ($2 million +). These projects can only occur in the 11222 area code and all of McCarren Park.


Lookout for a Request for Proposals on 10/16/13. There will be workshops and webinars on 10/23, 10/30 and 11/13. Pre-proposals for large and legacy grants and complete proposals for small grants are due on 11/20/13. Small grants will be announced in January 2014 and full proposals for large and legacy projects will be invited to submit on 1/15/14 and will be due on 3/6/14. There will be another community meeting in June 2014 and the large and legacy grants will be announced in August 2014.

Need more info?

Contact the community liasons:

Laura Treciokas & Filip Stabrowski: gcefund(AT) or call 718-389-9044

Visit the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund Website:

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