Philanthropic grants of $3 million given to nonprofits focused on land and water conservation, energy efficiency

By Krista Van Tassel
June 3rd, 2014

I’m so proud to share the list of community nonprofits selected to receive a 2014 Wells Fargo Environmental Solutions for Communities grant today. We’re awarding grants to hard-working nonprofits across the country totaling more than $3 million. Yes, that’s right $3 million. We are in our third year of this grant program, which was developed to support our company’s goal to provide $100 million in environmental philanthropy by 2020. This particular grant program is focused on community-based nonprofit organizations that work to support land and water conservation, energy efficiency, infrastructure, and educational outreach in communities where our customers and team members live and work.

Choosing the recipients wasn’t easy. We received hundreds of applications from great organizations across the country — all with a clear passion for the environment and great ideas to care for our planet. Priority consideration was given to those organizations with a volunteer component that allowed our team members a way to get involved with additional sweat equity to maximize the cash donation and results of community projects.

We would like to thank and congratulate all of the organizations that have participated in this competitive process, and we are confident that our selections enable a large number of environmental nonprofits to make a difference in our communities today and into the future.

The Environmental Solutions for Communities grant program began in 2012 – the same year as Wells Fargo’s new environmental commitment – which I mentioned before includes a $100 million in cash philanthropy goal to environmentally-focused nonprofits and universities by 2020. Our grant program is administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and funded by Wells Fargo with a $15 million, five-year commitment to promote environmental stewardship across the country.

These grants will be distributed to organizations that focus on:

  • Sustainable agriculture and forestry
  • Conservation of land and water resources
  • Energy efficiency and infrastructure
  • Community outreach and environmental education.

Last year, the program funded proposals in select cities/regions that helped address the most pressing environmental issues identified by each participating community.  Some examples of our past grant projects include:  helping Camp Pollack in Sacramento, CA host local students; working with the Sea Turtle Conservancy along the Florida coast to keep endangered animals safe; and restoring the landmark Levi Carter Pavilion with the city of Omaha, NE.

The 2013 projects collectively helped reduce more than 3,185,016.00 pounds of CO2, which is the equivalent to averting consumption of 8,535 barrels of oil*. Through the program, groups also planted 132,709 trees and restored over 1,600 acres of habitat. In addition, 150 received training people in “green” jobs, while more than 689,000 community members supported environmental grant programs.

Rockaway Waterfront Alliance640 wide

Volunteer activity for Rockaway Waterfront Alliance in New York.

You can learn more about the program and access the 2015 application (available in September 2014) on the NFWF application website: Projects benefiting underserved communities and encouraging volunteerism are given priority consideration.

Now here’s a list of our 2014 grant recipients.

Alaska Pacific University, Spring Creek Farm

Alaska Zoo

Alliance for Climate Education

American YouthWorks

Anchorage Park Foundation

Anne Springs Close Greenway/Leroy Springs & Co., Inc.

Beloved Streets of America

Bureau of Land Management – Arizona State Office

California Conservation Corps

Children and Nature Network

City of Corona Department of Water and Power

Community Action Agency of St. Louis County

CSUSB Philanthropic Foundation

Delaware River Waterfront Corporation

Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District

First Nations Development Institute

Florida Atlantic University Foundation, Inc.

Foundation for the Provo-Jordan River Parkway

Fresno Metro Ministry

Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed

FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway

Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance

Great Plains Institute

Green Extreme Homes CDC

Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County

High Country RC&D Area, Inc.

Keep Austin Beautiful

Kwiaht: Center for the Historical Ecology of the Salish Sea

Land and Cultural Preservation Fund, Inc.

Little River Wetlands project

Merced Community College District

Mountain View College

Museum of Science, Inc. dba Miami Science Museum


Nez Perce Tribe, Water Resources Division

REAL School Gardens

Rockaway Waterfront Alliance, Inc.

San Antonio River Foundation

San Francisco Conservation Corps

Sawmill Community Land Trust

Seattle Tilth Association

Sixteenth Street Community Health Center

Talking Talons Youth Leadership

Temple University – Of The Commonwealth System of Higher Education

The Freshwater Trust

The Nature Conservancy, Arizona Chapter

The Nature Conservancy, Florida Chapter

The Nature Conservancy, Iowa Chapter

U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities

UEC/MVP Project Inc.


Virginia Tech Foundation, Inc.

Youth Environmental Alliance

* Environmental impact estimates from CO2 were calculated by National Fish and Wildlife Foundation using statistics from the U.S Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration.

Tags:   agriculture   climate   employee   energy   financing   grant   innovation   National Fish and Wildlife Foundation   NFWF   volunteer   
Krista Van Tassel

Krista Van Tassel

As Community and Team Member Engagement manager for Wells Fargo’s Environmental Affairs Team, Krista supports the company’s 70+ Green Teams, recognizing and promoting environmental innovator best practices, and engaging and educating team members about their role in helping the company’s sustainability efforts. She also manages Wells Fargo’s Environmental Solutions for Communities’ $3 million annual nonprofit grant program focused on helping make long-term sustainable economic investments in local communities where its customers and 264,000 team members work and live. Prior to joining Wells Fargo in 2009, Krista worked in a variety of sustainability and marketing positions in both the nonprofit and for profit sectors. Krista earned her MBA in International Business at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

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