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By Kristin Riott. Kristin is BTG’s Executive Director.

Dear friend of our community and shared environment,

Hands down, this is the most exciting time ever at Bridging The Gap. Through the ARPA and IRA acts, our federal government is taking aggressive action on climate change, while working to reduce environmental injustices. There are billions of federal grant dollars available for urban forestry, for energy efficiency in buildings, for electrification of everything from stoves to cars. Bridging The Gap is working feverishly with our partners to apply for the greatest possible funding for Kansas City.

A coalition including BTG has already been awarded an ARPA grant to restore the Blue River; replanting its forests will help KCMO achieve as much as 10% of its greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. BTG has been awarded another grant to remove dead trees and replant on private land–a first, and much needed in neighborhoods where household budgets don’t allow for tree maintenance or planting. Another grant will allow us to replace more than 250 aged, inefficient refrigerators, which contribute to high utility bill burdens faced by many people in our communities. We’re submitting applications to restore low-income apartment buildings with energy efficiency, to insulate old houses, and even to restore green swaths to KC’s historic boulevards. Part of our job will be to help people most affected by climate change apply to get some of these federal benefits.

Ironically, the fact that there are so many federal dollars available means we need your donations more than ever. The cost of applying for and administering these grants is never fully covered by them. Most of the dollars secured don’t go to BTG–justice dictates it will flow through to communities where it’s needed most.

With more trees and plants to cool our cities and absorb carbon, with reduced waste and renewable energy to power us, we’re working to reduce the worst effects of climate change. We envision our city as a model of urban forestry, comfortable and efficient buildings, and strengthened, more just, better-connected communities.

Thanks to the support of friends like you over many years, Bridging The Gap is strong, ready, and humbled to play our boots-on-the-ground part in this historic work. Please help as you can, by donating todayvolunteering, or attending and/or sponsoring our annual event on March 28, 2024. We need you, we rely on you, and we thank you.

With gratitude,

Kristin Riott, Executive Director
Bridging The Gap