January 10, 2023

Sustainability Matters and the Community Foundation have not known each other for very long- a couple of years ago, the Shenandoah-based organization attended a First Tuesdays conversation, an informal half an hour chat that nonprofits can have with members of the Community Foundation staff about development goals, communications, or just for networking with a public sector partner.

From this, the organization;was inspired to apply for the Environment Fund grant during the competitive 2022 Community Investment Funds cycle, which they were awarded. Since then, Sustainability Matters has expanded their programming well into Northern Virginia, their signature achievement being the Community Foundation funded Making Trash Bloom site at the I-66 Landfill near the Fairfax County Parkway, where the organization plants native pollinator habitats.

Recently, Sustainability Matters earned a second major competitive grant award via the Community Foundation’s Business Women’s Giving Circle. The funding will go towards their “EcologiGALS” program, which will advance equity by creating;environmental science career opportunities for high school age girls. They’ll experience college-level field work at the Making Trash Bloom site.

“With this work, the girls will be connected with a mentorship ecosystem of female environmental professionals,” said Sari Carp, Executive Director of Sustainability Matters, “ranging from conservation science majors, to leaders in environmental engineering, scientific research, environmental agency and nonprofit management, and eco-entrepreneurship. This will give dozens of high school girls in Northern Virginia crucial real-world experience and networks.”

The Community Foundation is proud of Sustainability Matters, and for all organizations finding creative solutions to advancing equity, healing our environment, and educating the region’s young people.

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