Greening Western Queens Fund

In the fall of 2009, North Star Fund launched the "Greening Western Queens Fund," a $7.9 million initiative to invest in energy-efficiency and environmental projects in the Western Queens community affected by a July 2006 electric power outage. This program is supported by funds from the community's settlement with Con Edison. The Public Service Commission of the State of New York selected North Star Fund to administer the project because of our expertise in facilitating community led grantmaking processes.

According to Hugh Hogan, Executive Director of North Star Fund, "This is a story of a community that stood up to demand public accountability from a public utility that failed them. It's provided an opportunity unique in the history of New York City to invest in an environmentally conscious and economically robust future of the affected neighborhoods. The community-driven process will serve as a model for the next generation of urban neighborhoods."

Funded Projects

Western Queens has seen an infusion of trees, green jobs and youth environmental programs thanks to $7.9 million in grants distributed by North Star Fund. Twenty-three projects have been funded with one- to three-year grants that resulted in over 850 trees, supported environmental education and recycling programs, and helped fund community gardens and green jobs training programs.

Click here to download a pdf of Year Three projects.

Click here to download a pdf of Year Two projects.

Click here to download a pdf of Year One projects.

Click here for a map of the sites and potential sites of all funded projects.

We are not currently accepting proposals for the Greening Western Queens Fund.

Advisory Board

Grant decisions for the Greening Western Queens Fund were made by an Advisory Board of local stakeholders and environmental experts. The Advisory Board distributed grants to local groups for tree planting, energy efficiency, job training and open space enhancement projects. Members of the Advisory Board provided unique and important expertise which was utilized throughout the grant program. 

Visioning Sessions

In March 2010, North Star Fund hosted two community visioning sessions for residents of Sunnyside, Astoria, Woodside, and Long Island City. Over 120 residents, organizers, community members, and experts came together to share their vision, goals, and ideas for a greener Western Queens. Visioning Session participants actively engaged in large group and small group conversations and shared their ideas for the outcomes of the three-year grants.

The outcomes of the informative visioning sessions, as well as additional outreach and landscape research and scans of current greening programs and projects in the area were used by the Advisory Board to finalize the overall vision, grant criteria, priorities, and guidelines for the Fund.

Impacted Area

Click here for an interactive map indicating the boundaries of the prioritized areas impacted by the blackout.

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