Federal Funding Cuts to Urban Resource Partnership Initiative
I'm writing with some sad, frustrating, and hopefully mobilizing news. The
new administration has issued a directive to terminate the Urban Resource
Partnership Initiative (URP) and cut funding countrywide. The directive is
being interpreted by local authorities quite differently.
Here in Philadelphia several organizations working on urban
greening/community gardening projects have been notified that we must cease
work on our grant activities under the Natural Resource Conservation Service
though we are mid-funding cycle. I have also talked to the URP coordinator
in NYC where it also appears that there are serious ramifications.
As this has emerged extremely recently, I apologize for not having a
complete update on the issue. What I can say is that in our organization
alone we have commitments to 2 public schools and countless community
members whose lives are directly impacted by this maneuver. Furthermore,
URP funding is directed at inner-city communities. So, communities facing
many challenges that organized to obtain this funding to begin with are now
having to fight yet again to reverse this decision or find new resources.
Please contact the USDA and NRCS (both locally and federally) to express
your opinion on this matter. The Forest Service also provides URP funding
and can be contacted, though here in Philly that has not been cut at this
point (which does not mean it is not being cut in your area). You can also
contact URP coordinators in your area to find out what is happening locally.
I have attached a list of locales with URP projects and the contact person
for the area.
This issue is both timely and relevant to the community gardening movement
and the environmental movement as a whole. Please feel free to contact me
directly with thoughts and questions. Together we are very strong.
Thank you for your time and help!
--- Emily Maxwell
United Communities Southeast Philadelphia
2029 South 8th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19148