CAWACO grants benefit six organizations


CAWACO grants help fund the Blount County Education Foundation summer learning programs. -photo courtesy CAWACO RC&D

CAWACO grants help fund the Blount County Education Foundation summer learning programs. -photo courtesy CAWACO RC&D

Last Thursday, representatives of CAWACO announced the funding of six Blount County projects through CAWACO Resource Conservation & Development grants. A total of $42,500 was awarded to projects ranging from summer learning and specialized fire department training to river restoration and trail rehabilitation. Read and Rise Summer Camps! ($10,000)

CAWACO funds were used to provide supplies, resources, and staff in support of all summer learning activities provided by the Blount County Education Foundation. The camps included visual arts, music, STEAM, Jr. Fire Academy, and library/literacy camps. City Sweep ($6,000)

Support of weekend city-wide cleanup efforts by the City of Oneonta that included recycling, free garbage disposal, and installation of new trash cans throughout the downtown area. Palisades Park Hiking Trail ($9,452)

The Blount County Commission, in cooperation with the Palisades Park Board, hired Williams Land Service LLC for the rehabilitation of the park’s trails. Specialized equipment and experienced labor was essential to accomplish the park trail cleanup after a tornado downed trees throughout the park. Eyes on Driver Safety ($3,984)

CAWACO helps purchase equipment and training for first responders. -CAWACO RC&D

CAWACO helps purchase equipment and training for first responders. -CAWACO RC&D

Rosa Fire purchased a light system to provide visual alertness for their drivers while opening and pulling apparatus out of their station. The system shows that the bay doors are fully open before driving out. They also purchased 360 degree “bird’s-eye view” cameras for their apparatus to help them when responding to a call. It helps maintain safety all around the unit when only one person is driving the apparatus. River Restoration Nursery ($5,000)

Friends of the Locust Fork River leased the location and built a hoop house, a storage shed, and a workstation to grow seedlings. The funds also helped cover a paid naturalist advisor and consultant as well as contract a manager to oversee the nursery and the landscaping at Blount County’s Grand Staircase. Water Rescue Team Building ($8,000)

Funding provided by this grant was used by the Oneonta Fire & Rescue Service to purchase water rescue equipment, which included: one rapid deployment watercraft; two rescue boards; two sets of rescue fins; six personal flotation devices; six helmets with lights; six throw bags; and one rescue tube.

In its annual grant report, CAWACO stated, “2021 was a challenging year for many, due to the challenges presented from change in leadership and COVID obstacles. However, our grantees were able to adapt and persevere! This is evidence that our board of directors makes excellent funding decisions and approves the proposals with exceptional care. Thanks to the organizations and leaders throughout the state for all the hard work it takes to complete these projects and improve Alabama on a local level.”

CAWACO RC&D is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports educational and community development projects and is dedicated to the conservation of the natural resources within its five-county geographic area – Blount, Chilton, Jefferson, Shelby, and Walker counties.