Sustainable Development Grants


A group of people sit in a circle amid plants and trees at a gathering space within the Burnham Wildlife Corridor

In a time of environmental challenges and increasing global competition for resources, The Chicago Community Trust invests in sustainable development strategies, including living in balance with the natural environment, reducing energy use, developing clean energy resources, promoting water conservation and adapting to climate change.

In fiscal year 2015, the Trust awarded $4,761,000 in grants to support this priority.

  • Sustainable Development


    Active Transportation Alliance
    $50,000 for A Better Network: Making the Case for Bus Rapid Transit in Chicago

    $120,000* for Wasted Market: A Roadmap to the New Economy

    The Chicago Community Trust
    $23,000 for the Millennium Reserve communications work

    Chicago Wilderness Trust
    $50,000* for the Chicago Wilderness Data Project

    Elevate Energy
    $100,000* for the Community Solar
    Development Portal

    Foresight Design Initiative
    $100,000* for the Regional Resilience through Stronger Institutional Networks

    Girl Scouts Of Greater Chicago &
    Northwest Indiana

    $100,000* for year 3 support of Girl Scouts GO TO 2040: Journey World NEXT GEN

    Global Philanthropy Partnership
    $25,000 for the Chicago C40 City Director

    Global Philanthropy Partnership
    $15,000 for the 2015 in-person convening of the Prairie State Local Government Sustainability Network

    Global Philanthropy Partnership
    $128,000* for Year 3 of Retrofit Chicago Higher Education and Consortia Collaborative

    Local Initiatives Support Corporation
    $200,000 for Chicago Plans

    Metropolitan Planning Council
    $25,000 for general operating support for STREETSBLOG

    Metropolitan Planning Council
    $50,000* for the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative

    Metropolitan Planning Council
    $150,000* for Chicago Rivers: A Vision for the 21st Century

    National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
    $75,000* for Year 3 of the Chi-Cal Rivers Fund

    Natural Resources Defense Council
    $25,000 for involvement with the development of an application from northeastern Illinois governments for the National Disaster Resilience Competition

    $40,000 for the Tree Planters project

    Smart Growth America
    $150,000* for the Performance Measures for State Transportation Investments

    U.S. Green Building Council-Illinois Chapter
    $100,000* for Year 2 of the Chicago Energy Benchmarking Initiative

    Subtotal $1,526,000


    Adler University
    $50,000 for a Health Assessment on open space concepts in Pilsen

    City of Blue Island
    $75,000* for downtown revitalization measures of the City of Blue Island Comprehensive Plan

    Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community
    $50,000* for the Chinatown Vision to Action: Implementation of the Chinatown Community Vision Plan

    Enterprise Community Partners Inc.
    $75,000* for the Southland Transit-Oriented Development Initiative

    Field Museum of Natural History
    $75,000* for Collaborative Placemaking in the Burnham Wildlife Corridor

    Metropolitan Planning Council
    $50,000* for the Corridor Development Initiative

    National Park Foundation
    $200,000* for the establishment of a National Park Service visitor center at the Pullman National Monument

    Southeast Chicago Commission
    $50,000* for Green Healthy Neighborhoods in Action

    The Trust for Public Land
    $1,000,000* for final-phase funding for The 606

    The University of Chicago
    $75,000* for the Arts Block Green Line Arts Center design competition and public plaza programming

    Subtotal $1,700,000


    Angelic Organics Learning Center
    $75,000* for the Routes to Farm: Convening Farmer Alliances to Serve Sustainable Farmers in the Chicago Foodshed

    Angelic Organics Learning Center
    $50,000* for the Farmer Training Initiative

    Angelic Organics Learning Center
    $20,000* for the Urban Farm Enterprise
    Pathway Project

    The Chicago Community Trust
    $150,000* for an external evaluation to create a Learning Framework/Evaluation Plan for the Food:Land:Opportunity initiative

    The Chicago Community Trust
    $200,000* for ongoing strategic learning, research, and evaluation framework activities as part of the Food:Land:Opportunity initiative

    The Chicago Community Trust
    $200,000* for a specialist to design the internal infrastructure and external communications for the Innovation Competition as part of the Food:Land:Opportunity initiative

    $100,000* for the Good Food Business Accelerator
    $25,000* for the Good Food Business Accelerator

    Global Philanthropy Partnership
    $150,000* for the creation of the Illinois Council for Food and Agriculture and the implementation of the FARM Illinois plan recommendations

    Growing Home, Inc.
    $25,000 for the Growing Home
    Englewood expansion

    Liberty Prairie Foundation
    $300,000* for the Land Access Pilot Project

    $150,000* for Year two of the Urban Farm Enterprise Pathways Project.

    New Venture Fund
    $90,000* for general operations for Fresh Taste

    Subtotal $1,535,000


    *Grants made from the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust

[ SUSTAINABILITY INSIGHT: Mapping the Next Agricultural Revolution ]

Three farmers harvest greens inside a covered tunnel
Illinois is home to large-scale commodity farms, and small farms that nourish a burgeoning local food culture. Now a blueprint for the state’s food and agricultural system integrates both, to help our state economy blossom. Read more

We invite you to learn more about the ways we are working together with donors and partners to support sustainable communities.

Return to the 2015 Annual Report