We are so thankful to and proud of our first round of Mini Grants recipients! The Mini Grants programs was a beautiful endeavor into imagining what could be possible if funds for the community were distributed by community members. And Dyaami (UW '14) with herbal remedies, Jess (NAU '18) with Solastagia learnings, Joevita (UCSC '18) with Urban Forestry Corps, Adilia (UW '17) with homemade body care, and Hanna (Collab '16) and Cam (Collab '16) with Conservation Baddies all did an amazing job and worked on some really cool projects.
The funds contributed to the creation and development of women, BIPOC, and/or LGBTQIA+ led green businesses, podcasts, and research endeavors. These projects' scope of impact reaches far beyond the grant recipients and extends to planting trees in their community/establishing internships for people to learn about urban forestry, highlighting the conservation work happening in their network, and providing knowledge shares and herbal medicine. Below is a complete list of the five mini grant recipients’ projects including photos and words that they wanted to share with our DDCSP Alumni community.
Check out this page for more information on mini grants and to keep up to date on our next cycle!
About the project: The Conservation Baddies were able to buy better audiovisual equipment to improve the quality of their podcast and start creating more video episodes and vlogs. They currently have a haul video on their Youtube channel and an episode recorded with the new equipment so you can hear the difference for yourself!
Message from the grantees: "Thank you to the council for facilitating this program and the flexibility that was offered. I think we greatly benefitted from the freedom to brainstorm around our grant without pressure from staff or major time constraints. We filmed a haul with all our new equipment, if anyone is interested or wants to share it.”
Broadening Our Collective Understanding of Climate Change Driven Solastalgia
About the project: Solastalgia is a sense of distress caused by a sudden change in one's environment. This project researched climate change driven solastalgia through an anthropological lens to increase our understanding of solastalgia and provide a unique way to understand our relationship with nature. Jess carried out the work independently, without an institutional partner. This project hopes to improve our awareness of solastalgia, so we can be more cognizant of the social implications of climate change as we work to solve the climate crisis. “Through identifying key anthropological texts related to place, solastalgia, and climate change, [Jess] connected themes to predict how our relationship to place will evolve in the future.” Jess formed a model for climate change driven solastalgia and presented this project’s results at the 2022 New Horizons in Conservation Conference.
Message from the grantee: “The thing that most supported completing my work was your flexibility you gave grantees in how we share our work with the Alumni Network. Letting me share it through the New Horizons in Conservation Conference was great and made work easy for me!”
Creating Your Own Care Kit
Message from the grantee: "I liked running the logistics by the DDCSP folks because it got me thinking of creative ways to execute my plan and get a lot of good feedback on the butters. I had to consult with other natural cosmetics people about ethical and sustainable ingredients and where to buy them from. I had my partner try on a bunch of the recipes and help me with shipping them out to people. It showed me what it was like to run a business. We were also thinking of sustainable ways to send out boxes, like using newspaper and styrofoam from old packages to fill the boxes, using glass, asking people to upcycle the glass, and finding a box the perfect size to hold the butters. I read off my idea of self-care in connection to the environment to some of my DDCSP friends. They helped me refine the information in my self-care guide."
DDCSP Herbal Remedies
About the project: Dyaami graduated from Sacred Vibes Apothecary's spiritual herbalism apprenticeship in April 2022 and offered herbal remedies and plant profiles to folks who registered for the course within the DDCSP community. The mini-course created intentional time learning new things about plants and our healing journeys. In the near future, Dyaami will offer open classes that folks can drop in for and learn about similar topics! Keep updated on Sacred Vibes' offerings here: @sacredvibesapothecary.
Message from the grantee: “Hello Alumni! Thank you so much for awarding me a mini-grant - it has taught me so much and prepared me to move forward in my practice. There were ~10 alumni who took the mini-course and we learned about plants and did self-reflection while also making medicine. I recorded a workshop and presentation (with readings, resources, and 2 plan profiles) for all of you in this google drive folder so that you can explore the concepts we discussed and practiced together. If you are interested in learning more and practicing together, please reach out. I'd love to offer more spaces where we can be in community, learning, growing and practicing the herbal-self care journey. To the course participants - THANK YOU!! - for your patience, grace, and openness to my facilitation and sharing of herbal information. Thank you for witnessing me and for showing up as best you could. I appreciate you! To themini-grant committee, thank you for all the behind the scenes work - its an amazing opportunity to keep learning and building a resilient community. To all of us alumni, take good care of yourself and know you have plants to lean on. As always, please reach out to me for questions, thoughts, reflections, feedback - I am here at firstname.lastname@example.org or on instagram @seedsofpluto4. With love and courage, Dyaami (UW, '14)”
You can check out the materials and information from Dyaami's mini-course here!
Urban Forestry Corps
About the project: "With the assistance of the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars’ Mini Grant, we were able to propose and achieve a summer program aimed at completing community outreach about the urban forestry initiatives in South Bend. We had a focus on increasing the number of applicants to the free Community Canopy Tree Program. Through the Community Canopy Tree Program, South Bend residents could opt to have a free tree planted on their property by the South Bend Forestry Department. Through applying for this grant we were in contact with the forestry department as well as the parks and art department in South Bend. After receiving the mini-grant we were asked by the parks and art department to combine the funds with existing funding to build a more robust internship program to increase the amount of community impact. Our summer program thus changed from a 4-hour-a-week canvassing internship to a 32-hour-a-week internship that included research, tree maintenance, canvassing/community outreach, and professional development."