Opening the Outdoors, an initiative of the San Diego Center for Civic Engagement and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's U.S.-Mexico Border 2020 Program, have awarded $45,000 to 4Walls International to construct a bi-national park/nature reserve that will make use of thousands of discarded plastic soda bottles stuffed with trash pulled from the Tijuana River Valley and tributary canyons as building material for park benches and other infrastructure — an innovative construction technique that greatly reduces the cost of raw materials while increasing the structures' strength.
Business for the Arts Broward has announced that it will facilitate a $100,000 matching grant from the Community Foundation of Broward in support of nonprofit art projects in the county. From October 15 to December 15, any donations made by new donors will be matched two-to-one up to $10,000 by foundation. Nonprofits in the county are encouraged to post ideas for their projects to power2give.org/broward.
The Columbus Foundation has announced that during 2012 contributions by donors to new and existing funds reached a record $326.4 million — a 31 percent increase over 2011. At the end of the year, assets controlled by the foundation totaled $1.52 billion and were spread across more than two thousand unique funds, one statewide affiliate, and twenty-nine supporting foundations.
The Oregon Community Foundation has announced the inaugural recipients of its Fred Fields Scholarships. With the goal of increasing access to higher education and training in Oregon, the annual scholarships are awarded to one deserving enrolled student at each of the seventeen community colleges in the state. The fund initially was created as one of four strategies embedded in the foundation's $15.5 million signature education initiative, which was made possible by Fred W. Fields' bequest to OCF in 2011 — a bequest currently valued at more than $170 million.
The Pittsburgh Foundation has announced that Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra musicians will present a series of benefit concerts to raise funds for the creation of the PSO Musicians Care fund at the foundation. The endowment will benefit local school and community music programs whose budgets have been cut by providing funds for the repair of musical instruments, music lessons, scholarships for young people interested in music as a career, and transportation to and from PSO's educational concert series at Heinz Hall.
The Greater Milwaukee Foundation has announced two grants totaling $100,000 in support of outreach and education efforts related to the Affordable Care Act. With support from a $50,000 grant, the Milwaukee Health Department will hire two additional health access assistants for its Community Healthcare Access Program. The other grantee, Columbia St. Mary's, on behalf of the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership, will use its $50,000 award to contract with a statewide healthcare enrollment education and outreach organization called Covering Kids and Families.