By Kathy L. Collins

The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay recently announced recipients of nearly $165,000 in funding from its latest grant cycle. Some, but not all, focus on improving environmental conservation in the Tampa Bay area. Some of the recipients are located in or work in the South Shore area.

Tampa Bay Watch, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Tampa Bay estuary, was awarded $10,000 to support and expand its “Bay Grasses in Classes” program, which facilitates youth involvement in habitat restoration efforts. Locally, East Bay and Lennard High Schools will help to complete environmental restoration programs.

Last year, students harvested plants at a location in Port Manatee and replanted them at the Rock Pond Ecosystem Restoration Site. This year, they will work on the Apollo Beach Nature Preserve. Students work side by side with local scientists and get to learn about ecology and agriculture.

“The contributions of these organizations are essential to preserving Florida’s natural habitat and environment,” said Marlene Spalten, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay. “We are very proud to facilitate these grants,” added Spalten.
Feeding Tampa Bay was given $50,000 to support South Shore food banks such as Our Lady’s Pantry at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Wimauma and St. Anne’s in Sun City Center.

The Centre For Women was awarded $6,778 to expand its “You Grow Girl” Entrepreneurship Program For Women. The focus area will be Wimauma.

The Friends of the Library of Hillsborough County, Inc. was granted $6,000 to support art classes and a short video for the SouthShore Regional Library’s John Crawford Art Education Studio.

The Community Foundation has also reserved $25,000 in matching donations for several local women’s clubs, including The Riverview Women’s Club and GFWC Sun City Center Women’s Club, as a part of an endowment challenge.

Since its inception in 1990, the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay has been dedicated to making giving easy, for more information, please visit

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