The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners on Monday awarded more than $4.3 million in Port of Long Beach Community Grants Program funding for six projects to add local greenspace and enhance parks.
Created in 2016, the $46.4 million program is the largest voluntary effort of its kind by any seaport in the nation designed to ameliorate the environmental impacts of goods movement. Combined with $17.8 million given during a previous program, the Port of Long Beach has committed $65 million to improve the health of children, seniors and other vulnerable populations who live near the harbor.
“With these grants, the Port is able to improve parks and recreational facilities that benefit areas around Long Beach that are closest to the cargo-movement routes,” said Harbor Commission President Bonnie Lowenthal. “This program and our environmental initiatives are just part of our effort to be a good neighbor.”
The Port Community Grants Program was created to distribute funding to organizations that serve populations most sensitive to Port-related impacts, maximizing the impact on children, senior citizens, the chronically ill, and those with asthma. It identifies three focus areas: Community Health, Facility Improvements and Community Infrastructure. This round of awards arises from a Community Infrastructure solicitation earlier this year.
A five-member advisory committee works with Port staff to identify funding opportunities. The committee is chaired by former Long Beach City Councilman Gary DeLong; other members are educator Sabrina Sanders, former Long Beach City College Trustee Irma Archuleta, community organizer Kathleen Irvine, and political consultant Joanne Davis.
Harbor commissioners approved the following grants on Monday:
- The Salvation Army: Red Shield Youth and Community Center at Long Beach Boulevard and Spring Street, $670,000
- Camp Fire Angeles: Discovery Trail at DeForest Park, $645,286
City of Long Beach Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine: Lincoln Park landscaping, $981,280
- City of Long Beach Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine: 51st Street Greenbelt, $999,115
- City of Long Beach Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine: Drake-Chavez Parks Connection Project, $999,100
- City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services: Stephens Middle School edible garden, $21,472
Earlier this year, the Port granted $1.3 million to 16 projects in Long Beach and Paramount to improve air quality and energy efficiency at schools and community facilities. Each year, more than 190,000 visitors will benefit from the grants.
Learn more about the Community Grants Program at www.polb.com/grants.
Photo caption: Earlier this year, the Willmore City Heritage Association received Port of Long Beach Community Grants Program funding to add a bioswale to the Willmore Heritage Garden. Bioswales aid in the removal of pollutants that would otherwise enter groundwater. The Nov. 15 groundbreaking for the project is pictured here.