EPA AWARDS ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH GRANT TO WESTLAWN PARTNERSHIP
Take a look at a UWM feature story about the Westlawn Partnership for a Healthier Neighborhood: "A CARE-ing Collaboration for Westlawn"
Listen to a Milwaukee Public Radio Report: "North Side Neighborhood Breathes Life Into Environmental Health Initiatives Through Community Partnerships"
November 9, 2011
Mayor Tom Barrett, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, UWM Chancellor Mike Lovell, and EPA Region 5 Administrator Dr. Susan Hedman joined other dignitaries in announcing the award of a nearly $300,000 Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) grant to the Westlawn CARE partnership today at the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center. The event marked the 100th award by the US Environmental Protection Agency's CARE program.
The announcement follows the award three years ago of an intial CARE grant to the UWM College of Nursing’s CARE partnership with the Westlawn neighborhood and other community organizations. The Westlawn partnership was one of only three in the nation to be awarded additional EPA financing. This second round of funding will allow the partnership to expand existing environmental projects.
The Westlawn Partnership for a Healthier Environment, which started in the fall of 2008, now involves 44 members from 26 different organizations, as well as local residents, working together to promote a healthy neighborhood and reduce exposure to environmental toxins.
Westlawn, home of the largest publicly funded housing development in the state, faces some significant health challenges related to environmental issues, according to Anne Dressel of the College of Nursing who is principal investigator for the EPA project.
"The EPA is proud to support this ambitious project to improve community
health," said EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman. "The Agency has
committed nearly $400,000 to help make homes and day care centers in
Westlawn healthier for children, especially those who suffer from
In the past two years, the partnership has achieved a number of successes in addressing these problems, says Dressel.
"We are pleased to be one of the original members of the partnership, because its goals mirror the Housing Authority's goals with the ongoing redevelopment of the Westlawn neighborhood: to build a stronger, healthier community," said Ken Barbeau, Manager of HACM Community Services.
In addition, the CARE partnership helped organize a neighborhood cleanup and is working with HACM to add green space and trees and prevent mold in the new development. The nearby Growing Power urban farming project and a business member of the group, Milwaukee’s Asian Markets, are part of the partnership, leading efforts to make more fresh produce available.
The partnership also works closely with UWM nurses and nursing students at the Silver Spring Community Nursing Center to promote health and wellness through education and preventive care. Nursing students are working with MPS nurses and students on an asthma awareness program called “Asthma Smarts” and are teaching hands-on environmental science at the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center’s Community Learning Centers.
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