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UMass Lowell's TURI Awards Ten Community Grants

Lowell, August 29, 2007--The Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) at the University of Massachusetts Lowell today announced grant funding totaling $68,200 to ten Massachusetts community organizations and municipalities. Projects will raise awareness about toxics in everyday products and encourage the selection of safer alternatives.

"It's truly amazing what these organizations plan to accomplish for a relatively small amount of money," commented TURI Community Program Manager Joy Onasch. "Because of the general public's recent surge of awareness and concern for the environment, I think these project leaders will have even more success convincing people to use less toxic materials," she continued.

TURI awarded the following six organizations grants ranging from $1,300 to $15,000:

Cape Cod Cooperative Extension, Barnstable, MA received a $15,000 grant from TURI to promote the use of new LED flares to boaters and emergency responders as an alternative to chemical flares containing perchlorate.

Vietnamese American Initiative for Development, Inc., (Viet-AID), Dorchester, MA, received $15,000 to promote safer hardwood floor finishing products to companies and consumers.

ECOprojects, Jamaica Plain, MA, received $14,950 to educate asthmatic residents in Lynn about how to identify and reduce chemical hazards due to common household practices that trigger asthma symptoms.

Worcester Youth Center received $14,450 to increase awareness among low income inner city youth about harmful chemicals found in everyday products used at home.

Town of Townsend, Conservation Commission received $3,500 to educate residents about the benefits of organic lawn care practices by creating a demonstration site at the Town Hall and Library lawns without using pesticides.

The Organic Mom, Inc., Berkley, MA, received $1,300 to host two free environmental lectures at local schools to raise public awareness of toxics inside and outside of the home.

TURI introduced a new lower level of funding this year to encourage more community organizations to promote safer alternatives. TURI awarded the following four organizations $1,000 each:

Friends of Tyler Park, Lowell, MA, will encourage the reduction of pesticide use in Lowell's residential and civic spaces with a non-pesticide demonstration lawn site at Tyler Park.

The Organic Land Care Program of Northeast Organic Farming Association--Massachusetts Chapter, Barre, MA, awarded six Massachusetts municipal employees with scholarships to attend an organic lawn care course.

Brazilian Women's Group, Allston, MA, will educate Brazilian housecleaners about how to choose safer cleaning products.

Holliston Fire Department will build a program to educate the public about Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection pesticide regulations, the risks of pesticides, and alternative ways to maintain a healthier yard.

For more information about the TURI Community Grant Program, visit TURI's community web site or contact Joy Onasch, Joy@turi.org, 978-934-4343.