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TURI Calls for Proposals from Communities Promoting Safer and Healthier Neighborhoods

Lowell, MA, April 24, 2008 -- The Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) at the University of Massachusetts Lowell TURI seeks proposals from non-profit community or environmental organizations in Massachusetts interested in reducing the use of toxic chemicals in living or work spaces.

For 13 years, TURI has been funding annual projects to help communities become safer and healthier for residents and workers. Two levels of funding are available--$1,000 grants for smaller toxics use reduction projects and up to $15,000 for larger projects. The proposal deadline is June 30, 2008. Projects span August 2008 through June 2009.

Sample project ideas include increasing the use of safer cleaning products and pest control substances, encouraging organic lawn care methods on private or town properties, reducing lead sinkers used in recreational fishing, and raising awareness of toxic materials used in hair and nail salons.

Public housing authorities, water departments, neighborhood associations, environmental groups, labor unions, fire and police departments, libraries, boards of health, schools, and individuals, as well as youth with an interest in community service--all are encouraged to apply.

"The TURI community grant project leaders not only foster partnerships and change within neighborhoods, they also gain well-deserved recognition for successfully implementing their projects," explained Joy Onasch, Community Program Manager. "In fact, one of our past youth grantees, Michael Browne, met the President last week and received the EPA Region 1 President's Environmental Youth Award for his TURI 'Get the Lead out of Fishing' project."

To better understand grant requirements and elements of successful projects, organizations are encouraged to attend a TURI pre-grant workshop at UMass Lowell on May 20, 9-11AM or May 29, 2-4PM.

To sign up for a workshop or to learn more, contact Joy Onasch, TURI Community Program Manager, joy@turi.org, 978-934-4343. Visit the TURI community web site to peruse past projects and download a grant application package, www.turi.org/community.

The Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) at UMass Lowell provides the resources and tools to help Massachusetts companies and communities make the Commonwealth a safer place to live and work. Established by the State's Toxics Use Reduction Act of 1989, TURI provides research, training, technical support, laboratory testing services and grant programs to reduce the use of toxic chemicals while enhancing the economic competitiveness of businesses. Visit www.turi.org for more information.