The Green Museums Initiative's new IGNITE! Mini-Grant program provides $2,000 in seed money to a progressive museum project. Applicants were encouraged to step back from day-to-day duties and think deeply about local and institutional environmental issues that can be addressed with a little creativity and commitment.
The winner of the 2013 IGNITE! Mini-grant is the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden's Native Habitat Buffers as Models of Agricultural Sustainability project. On four experimental farms in Santa Barbara County, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden will plant buffers and collect data to learn more about which regional native species work best to attract native pollinators. The long-term goal of this project is to promote the economic and environmental advantages of native habitat buffers to both growers and citizens. To learn more about this project and the other finalists, see www.calmuseums.org/IGNITE!vote.
From dirty composting worms to airy hand dryers, several of the ideas submitted tackled waste reduction. Another plan included replacing mounds of paper used in public programs and visitor services with tablets, while another looked at turning industrial by-products and unwanted items into creative fodder for children's art. A healthy environment includes healthy eating and community gardens provide the perfect way to raise awareness about these issues. This idea came from a history museum that is making the connection to its WWII era Victory Garden. Another historical tie to the environment came from a railroad museum that wants to help visitors understand the true costs of transportation and energy production and how to make wise choices.
The Green Museums Initiative would like to dedicate this year's mini-grant program to the memories of Rory Ruppert and Bob Garrison, both of whom were dedicated to issues of sustainability and believed museums could play a part in solving environmental challenges.
The four finalists were selected by the IGNITE! Review Committee:
About the IGNITE! Mini-grant Process
The funded project will:
This mini-grant is an extension of GMI’s belief that museums are catalysts for environmental sustainability. Collaboration among partners is encouraged.
Eligibility: All types of museums were invited to submit applications, including zoos, aquariums, science centers, children’s museums, art museums, botanical gardens, and historical societies. Each entrant must be located in California and be a legally organized nonprofit organization or a government entity. Participants that attended the GMI IGNITE! roundtables are encouraged to apply and take the results of the 2011 regional meetings to the next level.
Selection Process: The winning project will be selected by a two-tier judging process. The entries will first be read and scored by a Review Committee. The committee will use a scoring rubric to select three to five finalists. The finalists will work with a Green Museums Initiative Committee member to write a project abstract, which will be used in an online voting process. The project with the most votes will be selected as the IGNITE! Mini-grant recipient.
Application: An outline of the application form can be downloaded for your reference. The application requires a two-three page narrative, which should include all of the following:
Applicants are also encouraged to attach up to four pages of attachments, which may include letters of support from partners, a budget and/or budget narrative, images, photographs, sketches, or other materials that support funding for this project.
Requirements: The IGNITE! Mini-grant recipient will be awarded $2,000 to be used on their project and will be required to: (1) write two blog posts in the CA Museums Community Online - one on the project's progress and the second at the conclusion of the project - to share the experience and lessons learned; (2) submit a one-page narrative report and a financial report to CAM on the conclusion of the project or 12 months after the grant is awarded, whichever comes first.
Online voting: August 1-8, 2013
Project start date: September 1, 2013
Project end date: August 31, 2014
Reporting deadline: September 15, 2014