The Environment Program has two major interests: To ensure drinking water is clean, affordable, and accessible, protected, and managed as a public necessity, and to challenge continued shale gas extraction and infrastructure expansion.

Drinking Water

The Foundation supports efforts on a national scale or in New York State that promote:

  • strong and enforced water policies
  • increased investment in publicly owned and operated water infrastructure
  • empowerment of communities and individuals to exercise their rights to protect drinking water resources
  • reduced consumption of bottled water

On a limited basis, the Foundation is exploring opportunities to support organizing and advocacy at the national scale to address lead in drinking water.

Photo: Roberta Norman
Photo: Roberta Norman


The Foundation supports statewide efforts in New York that decrease reliance on fossil fuels, particularly natural gas, by challenging the expansion of its infrastructure, including pipelines, compressor stations and new natural gas power plants. The Foundation will also consider requests that will help shift the state’s energy needs away from conventional fossil fuel sources and toward a clean energy system that is accessible, affordable, and protective of citizens’ health.

Types of Activities Funded

The Foundation is interested in catalyzing action and is willing to consider diverse approaches that raise awareness and offer solutions to drinking water and energy concerns, including, but not limited to:

  • policy development
  • advocacy
  • organizing
  • corporate responsibility

Additionally, the Foundation will consider support for investigative reporting outlets that raise awareness and provide new information on drinking water and shale gas energy issues. Stories may be national in scope, but funding is generally targeted to coverage of issues that are relevant to New York State.

Other environmental grants that cover additional geographic and issue areas are made at the Foundation's initiative and the scope of these interests is separate from these guidelines. Please contact the Foundation via email for more information.

Statement of Position on Oil & Gas

Global emissions of climate-warming gases continue to rise, and scientists have provided dire warnings of the impacts of the predicted warming on people and ecosystems across the world if immediate action is not taken. The most severe impacts will be faced by people already challenged by poverty and other disadvantages. Oil and gas extraction, transport, use and its related industries are major contributors of greenhouse gases and endanger public health.

Value Statement

The Park Foundation’s Environment Committee has engaged in anti-shale gas work since 2008 and has developed a grantmaking history supporting organizations and projects working to keep shale gas in the ground through research, policy, advocacy, and activism. Although there is not a single strategy that will avert the climate crisis, the Committee recognizes that a firm stance against further oil and gas development is a necessary component to future funding decisions.

This stance includes supporting efforts that:

  • Commit to the “keep it in the ground” philosophy.
  • Commit to resisting all new gas and oil drilling.
  • Commit to resisting all new gas and oil infrastructure buildout (including: pipelines, compressor stations, new gas power plants, and new petrochemical feedstock facilities).
  • Promote a managed decline in fossil fuel existing supply and production.
  • Challenge the energy status quo and promote democratic principles for citizen engagement in energy decision-making.
  • Educate and move investors towards cleaner energy choices.

Additionally, the Foundation has already transitioned its endowment portfolio; it divested its holdings of carbon stocks and committed itself to “climate solutions” investments. More information on the Foundation’s Mission Related Investing work and activities is available here.

Submit a Proposal

Prior to submitting a proposal, prospective applicants should contact the Foundation to determine appropriate fit. Please be prepared to provide information regarding content and treatment, distribution, outreach, budget, funding sources (and fiscal sponsorship as appropriate).