Grants Awarded

Valley Forge Park Alliance – $25,000

Unveiling the Untold: Illuminating African American Stories at Valley Forge

Recent research has identified 112 civilians and 521 soldiers of African descent who were engaged at Valley Forge during the Revolutionary War. This grant will support an initiative by the Valley Forge Park Alliance to uncover and disseminate the often-overlooked narratives of these individuals. The initiative will offer a fresh perspective on American history by shedding light on the complexities of freedom and sacrifice, and will deepen understanding of the nation's diverse heritage through immersive tours and educational programs utilizing historic buildings as platforms for storytelling. 

Make Food Not Waste – $25,000

The 2030 Project

In the fall of 2023, Make Food Not Waste (MFNW) proposed to help Michigan reach its goal of cutting food waste in half by 2030 by redirecting the food waste in Southeast Michigan's top 15 most populated cities away from landfills. Dubbed The 2030 Project, the plan attracted funding from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. In the first phase of the project, MFNW is working with the first city, Southfield, to create a tactical blueprint that will encompass the city's food system and incorporate national best practices in food waste reduction, rescue and recycling. This grant will support the second phase of the project, which begins in September 2024 and involves the implementation of the Southfield program and the adaptation of the blueprint to two additional cities - Dearborn and Sterling Heights.

Made By Us – $15,000

Civic Season

Made By Us' Civic Season program works to connect 18- to 30-year-olds to the U.S. national story. Only 27% of Americans in this age demographic have basic knowledge of U.S. history and only 16% are proud to live in the United States. Museums and historic sites, with credible expertise across the field of American heritage, can serve as trustworthy, local hubs for inspiration, curiosity and belonging. Civic Season, which is co-designed by a cohort of 10 museum staffers and 10 design fellows in the 18- to 30-year-old demographic, connects young adults with these sites and with their history and artifacts. Americana's grant will support Civic Season in 2024, which is estimated to reach 15M Americans by engaging more than 500 institutions in 50 states with more than 1500 programmatic offerings and events.

Huron Pines – $25,000

Catalyzing Community Action to Protect Lake Huron

Through its Lake Huron Forever initiative, Huron Pines works with community leaders, volunteers, and other organizations to implement projects that strengthen the health and well-being of residents and improve or protect water quality in Lake Huron. This grant will bolster Huron Pines' efforts in three Lake Huron coastal communities: Rogers City, Oscoda, and East Tawas. Huron Pines' direct engagement with these municipalities will ensure that local citizens clearly experience the connection between improved water quality and the enjoyment of places in which they live, work and play. In Rogers City, Huron Pines' staff will assist the city with infrastructure projects that divert stormwater from Lake Huron and educate the public about improvements. In East Tawas, Huron Pines will build partnerships with community and tribal leaders and private landowners to increase water quality protection. In Oscoda, Huron Pines will assist leaders at the Township level to protect important land along the Au Sable River that protects ground water recharge areas for water quality leading directly to Lake Huron.

Citizens for a Safe and Clean Lake Superior – $25,000

Educating and Advocating for Wetland Protections in Marquette County

Deregulation and devaluation of wetlands over the years has resulted in the destruction of about 50,000 acres of wetlands in Marquette County, 20,000 of which are in coastal areas. Citizens for a Safe and Clean Lake Superior (CSCLS) is working to raise local awareness of the causes and impacts of wetland destruction for Lake Superior and all who depend on it. Their ultimate objective is to build support for strengthening local ordinances to protect wetland areas. CSCLS will use this grant to engage a coalition of local environmental, civic, business, governmental, resident, and other stakeholders to coalesce around this cause.

United Way of Northeast Michigan – $30,000

Continuing to Foster a Circular Economy Rooted in Regional Food Systems

This grant will enable a coalition of organizations to continue their efforts to strengthen local markets and community-based food systems in Northeast Michigan. Specific efforts will include (1) expanding direct-market opportunities for small- and medium-scale farms; (2) foster connections across the region that support capacity building, cooperation, and market development; (3) complete and apply a mapping database of food systems in the region; and (4) secure long-term resources to support the scaling and continuity of the work.

Partridge Creek Compost – $21,840

Engaging Upper Peninsula Communities in Composting and Food-System Education

Partridge Creek Compost (PCC), along with its partner organization, Partridge Creek Farm, are dedicated to building a resilient local food system in Ishpeming, MI and across the Upper Peninsula. PCC will use this grant to increase curbside collection of compostable materials by 25 households per month in 2024 and use it to produce high quality compost that can be applied to community gardens and other local growing operations.

Fair Food Network – $25,000

Michigan Good Food Fund Seed Awards

Fair Food Network will use this grant to provide direct seed grants to Michigan-based food and farm enterprises that have a demonstrated commitment to promoting local agriculture so they can grow their businesses and/or prepare for additional financing. Successful applicants will be identified by a Stakeholder Board of entrepreneurs, lenders, and technical assistance providers who have collectively identified a set of priorities to guide the investment decisions. Americana's grant will be used to fund businesses in under-resourced northern and rural geographies in Michigan.

Clinton River Watershed Council – $25,000

Assessing High Priority Water Quality Improvement Projects in the Clinton River Watershed

The Clinton River Watershed Council will use this grant to collaborate with other organizations in the watershed to (1) identify high-priority, shovel-ready or near shovel-ready projects eligible for federal funding, and (2) modernize existing watershed management plans so they incorporate concerns created by climate change and other current threats. CRWC's objective is to create tangible tools that its partners can use to implement competitive projects in the watershed that will have cascading benefits to Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River, and the entire Great Lakes system.

Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation – $25,000

Legacies of 1619: Law and Race at Jamestown

The Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation will use this grant to expand its public programming to create a self-guided tour focused on the First Africans who arrived in Virginia in 1619. The tour will cover two central themes: (1) the origins of the rule of law in America and its evolution throughout the 17th and 18th centuries; and (2) the intersection of race and law through the gradual, systemic development of codified slavery in America.

Planet Detroit – $20,000

Community Journalism Training for Detroit Residents

This grant will help Planet Detroit launch a community journalism training program. In this program, Planet Detroit will train community reporters to report on sustainability issues in their neighborhoods and communities, such as local food production and security, vacant lot and alley activation, housing rehabilitation and development, and habitat restoration. The stories will highlight human and nature-based solutions while shedding light on the challenges that local leaders and entrepreneurs face in holding leaders accountable and while elevating grassroots community groups as they overcome these challenges. Planet Detroit will partner with El Central Media to translate and republish the stories in Spanish.

Michigan History Foundation – $25,000

Gchi Mshijkenh Deh Minising/Heart of the Great Turtle Island

This grant will support a collaborative effort involving the State of Michigan, four tribes, and local partners in developing and interpreting the west side of Straits State Park in St. Ignace, MI. The project will add Anishinaabe context to the story of Michigan told at the site through a Learning Commons, outdoor trails, and structures at a Powwow Circle. This will make it a key interpretive space for explaining the seasonality of Anishinaabe life in both the pre- and post-contact periods, as well as their culture's continuing relationship with the natural world. Americana's grant will be used to construct a Drum Circle structure at the center of the Powwow Circle.

Historic Locust Grove – $25,000

Reducing Barriers to Historic Resources

Historic Locust Grove, an 18th-century farm site and National Historic Landmark near Louisville, Kentucky, will use this grant to install outdoor interpretive signage, accessible to visitors throughout the 55-acre site, to illuminate the stories of the historic people who lived and worked on the property. The signage will present the site's full history, particularly the history of the large and varied enslaved community, so that all visitors -- not just those participating in ticketed tours - know that the full history of the site is honored in the site's interpretation.

Headwaters Land Conservancy – $16,000

Landowner Stewardship Resources Assistance

Headwaters will use this grant to launch an educational stewardship-based program to help private landowners in northeastern Michigan improve land management practices. Private land conservation and management will help to create corridors of sustainable habitat to support the growth and preservation of Michigan flora and fauna. Headwaters will offer the program in partnership with local conservation districts, MSU Extension, and local invasive species management groups.
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If you have reviewed our mission, program areas, priorities, and guidelines and still have questions, feel free to contact us or schedule a 30-minute intro meeting. We will be happy to address any inquiries you may have.

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