Azalia Solar is pleased to announce four local groups as the recipients of the latest round of grants from the Azalia Solar Community Grant Program. Since it was launched last year, the program has awarded over a dozen grants to local organizations focused on improving their community in the follow areas: Building Healthy Communities, Economic Development, Environmental Sustainability, and Promoting Education.
“We're excited to be supporting several homegrown initiatives that are improving the lives of residents throughout the Milan area,” said Brian O'Shea, Public Engagement Manager for Azalia Solar. "Local renewable energy projects like Azalia Solar are powering better communities all across Michigan. Our community grant program is one way we can give back and do our part in the community well before the project is constructed."
A grant to London Township will support the township's annual spring clean up day. The $7,000 grant will help giver the cost of renting trailers, dumpsters, and other supplies for volunteers picking up litter and debris from ditches, roadways, and other areas.
Aid in Milan will receive a $5,000 grant to fund an expansion of their community garden program, including the addition of a greenhouse and additional staff capacity to coordinate volunteers. The program will include a freezing and canning program and working with local farms to harvest leftover produce that normally would be left after harvest. The program will create new opportunities for volunteers to learn about sustainable living, horticulture, while delivering food to those in need.
"When we talk about building a healthy community and disrupting poverty cycles, we are talking about more than just handing out groceries to people in need. This greenhouse program will not only extend our growing season and produce even more fresh produce, it will allow us to teach the next generation of neighbors the importance of farm-to-table nutrition,” said Joy Whitenburg of Aid in Milan. “This partnership with Azalia Solar allows us to feed more low-income neighbors, while teaching the next generation how to take care of themselves and each other through sustainable living!"
Dundee High School seniors who participate in Future Farmers of America (FFA) will still be eligible for scholarships this year from the William Root Jr. Foundation.
The Foundation typically holds an annual euchre tournament to help fund the scholarship program, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic they have been unable to host the tournament for the past two years. A $3,000 Azalia Solar community grant will ensure that funding is available for scholarships this year.
“The William Root, Jr. Foundation greatly appreciates the gift of money from Azalia Solar and Apex Clean Energy," said William W. Root III. "We are unable to hold our annual euchre tournament again this year, and with this generous gift, we will be able to donate at least $3,000.00 in scholarships to the graduating seniors of Dundee High School.”
The Milan FFA chapter is also receiving a grant to help students participate in the Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources Salmon in the Classroom program. This school-based program enlists students to help raise salmon throughout the year and release them in the spring to help replenish the salmon population in the Great Lakes. The grant will help the Milan FFA purchase a reverse osmosis system to help students better manage pH levels in the water as salmon are raised throughout the year. The class is already raising their first batch of fish and students are excited to oversee their survival, growth, and release.
According to the Milan FFA, the program builds a connection between students and natural resources and can have tremendous impact by developing a passion for the natural world in high school students.
Azalia Solar’s ongoing commitment is to be a strong community partner to the residents, businesses, and and community organizations of Milan Township, London Township, and the Greater Milan area. The Community Grant Program will continue to support pressing community needs and local organizations making a meaningful impact throughout 2022. To learn more or apply for a future grant, visit, www.Azaliasolar.com/grant.