Surrounded by the young students of the “Niños Uniendo al Mundo/Jardín del Cielo” School in Caguas, Ford Motor Company officials kicked off this year’s Conservation & Environmental Grants program Wednesday to benefit local schools, nonprofits and grassroots organizations that are doing their part to improve Puerto Rico’s landscape.
Last year, the school received a $3,000 grant from Ford to develop and enjoy its “Jardín del Cielo” project, a greenhouse and outdoor classroom initiative that promotes environmental protection and harmony with nature. It was one of 10 organizations that split $40,000 that Ford distributed in 2011 among different organizations to support projects/initiatives beneficial to environmental conservation.
“Our environment faces numerous ecological challenges, but thanks to a great group of people that work daily to achieve change, environmental quality of life comes alive,” said Waldo Galán, managing director for the Central America & Caribbean region of Ford International Business Development. “Ford commits itself to providing the necessary support and financial help to organizations with environmental initiatives that positively impact nature,”
During 2011, Ford split $40,000 among various organizations, namely the Botijas I Community School in Orocovis, the Agriculture Club at the Rafael Martínez Nadal school in Guaynabo, the San Salvador Organized Community, the Future Farmers of America, the Agricultural Education students of the Manuel Mendía Moret School in Patillas, Silent Grace, the Santa Ana Environmental Center, and the Paz de Cristo Home.
Since establishing the grant program in 2001, Ford has bestowed more than $400,000 to more than 60 local organizations to promote their environmental initiatives. Applications for this year’s round of funding must be turned in by the March 23, 2012 deadline, Ford said.