Three Voinovich School projects receive funding from Sugar Bush Foundation to promote environmental sustainability

June 14, 2017

The Ohio University Foundation recently announced funding for five projects, including three involving Ohio University's Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. The projects will be funded through The Sugar Bush Foundation, an organization that works with Ohio University to improve quality of life in Appalachian Ohio.   

The Sugar Bush Foundation’s yearly projects foster sustainable environmental and socioeconomic development and encourage community engagement. The Voinovich School projects approved for the 2017-2018 school year are as follows:

  • Zero Waste Thrift Store: $72,306. The Voinovich School and Athens nonprofit ReUse Industries will partner to establish Athens MakerSpace (AMS), which will provide a work space, tools, classes and events in areas that will support local upcycled product-making. This product-making will include woodworking, metalworking, fabric-fiber arts, electronics and digital design and fabrication (3-D print, CNC, laser cutting). 
  • Bringing Transparency to Environmental Issues Surrounding Class II Injection Wells through Community Engagement (Year 2): $36,093. The Voinovich School, School of Communications Studies and the Buckeye Environmental Network will work to give citizens a voice in environmental and health impacts of proposed and existing injection wells. This project hopes to help concerned citizens obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to participate in environmental decision-making.
  • The Appalachia Ohio Zero Waste Initiative (AOZWI): $125,000. The Voinovich School and Rural Action will partner on this project. AOZWI aims to create a culture that supports a movement towards zero waste. In the project’s five years of work, it has more than doubled residential and commercial recycling rates. In the future, AOZWI hopes to increase waste diversion, decrease per capita waste generation, grow waste and recycling based ventures and work towards zero waste at OHIO. 

The Sugar Bush Foundation will fund two additional projects throughout the 2017-2018 school year. The Initiative for Appalachian Food and Culture (IAFC) received $34,678 to continue building resilient economies and promoting food security through a community-based sustainable food system, and the Sustainable Treatment of Acid Mine Drainage for Pigment Production received $25,000 to develop a technology that will convert pollution in the region into a commodity to create jobs.

Adapted from an article by Katie Coulter. Click here to read the full article.