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City and partners raise matching funds for energy planning project

The City of Bend and The Environmental Center have secured additional matching grant funds, completing the fundraising needed to move forward on a climate action plan.

 

The Oregon Community Foundation  (OCF) announced today that its “OCF Advised Funds” donors have recommended awarding matching grants that total $50,000. This meets the required match for a $50,000 grant from national funder Partners for Places. The combined funding will support the City’s work with the Bend community to increase energy efficiency and reduce fossil fuel consumption.

 

“The donor families that partner with the Oregon Community Foundation are pleased to help the community of Bend invest in a healthy environment through greater community engagement,” said Fran Willis, OCF donor relations officer.

 

OCF’s Advised Funds program allows OCF donors to identify causes that matter to them and recommend OCF grant support in collaboration with other donors. Partners for Places is a national matching grant program that invests in local projects to promote a healthy environment, a strong economy and well-being of all residents.

 

The City of Bend, in partnership with The Environmental Center, submitted a proposal to Partners for Places in July 2017 for a project to engage diverse voices in creating a community climate action plan that balances equity, efficiency, economic development and meaningful climate benefits.

 

“We are so grateful to the OCF donor families who have matched the Partners for Places grant award we received this fall. It is further indication of the shared value in Oregon of protecting our environment while supporting our communities. We are excited to begin the process of identifying the appropriate course of action for Bend to meet its fossil fuel reduction goals while providing economic, social and environmental benefits to the Bend community,” said City of Bend Senior Policy Analyst Gillian Ockner.

 

This project stems from a September 2016 Bend City Council Climate Action Resolution that established goals to reduce community-wide fossil fuel use by 40 percent by 2030 and 70 percent by 2050. This project is planned to unfold over a two-year period at a cost of $175,000 per year. Funding for year one will come from multiple sources: $50,000 from the City’s budget, $50,000 from Partners for Places, $50,000 from OCF Advised Funds and $25,000 from community donations to The Environmental Center.

 

With first year funding now secured, the City can move forward with key steps in developing the plan called for in the Bend City Council Resolution. One key step is for the City to hire a Sustainability Coordinator to manage a volunteer advisory committee and a public process to involve the community. The goal is a community-endorsed energy action plan by fall of 2019.

 

Contacts:

 

Gillian Ockner, City of Bend, 541-388-5505, gockner@bendoregon.gov

Mike Riley, The Environmental Center, 541-385-6908 x19

 

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