Alabama RC&D grants $78,000 for project assistance
On Thursday, the Alabama Association of Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D)’s Ala-Tom Council presented a total of $78,000 in grant money for projects to be completed in Dallas County.
The Ala-Tom RC&D Council covers nine counties in southwest Alabama including: Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Dallas, Marengo, Monroe, Perry, Washington, and Wilcox.
Projects that will receive grants in Dallas County include the following 2018 projects:
- Craig Fence Project that will provide a safe environment for students served by Craig Elementary School. This fence also ensures the safety of children in the community who sometimes cross through the lumber yard to get to other neighborhoods.
- Bogue Chitto Revitalization Cultural Enrichment Project is an ongoing project to improve the community and is an organized, instructional program that offers opportunities for underserved senior citizens and at risk youth.
- The Mill Village Community Garden and Food Park is a neighborhood garden and park that is open to the public.
- The staff at Central Alabama Regional Child Advocacy Center provides the location and personnel for forensic interviews after an allegation of child sexual abuse or physical abuse. A project is also receiving grant money to help with Child Abuse Prevention Education.
- The Selma PAL After School Enrichment program will be used to support its recreation-oriented crime prevention program that relies on athletic, recreational activities and education to help children.
- Camp Grist’s Enhancement Project will create a safe environment for park attendees and also enhance the facilities, park ground, park equipment and office.
- Youth Leadership Selma – Dallas County is a multicultural program designed to assist youth in developing strong, effective leadership skills to work in diverse community settings.
2019 Dallas County projects and grantees include:
- M. Brown Community Outreach will help continue to provide community outreach in the E.M. Brown Community.
- Doc on a Bus is a service that allows volunteer physicians to come into underserved and rural areas to provide healthcare.
- Mobile Eye Clinic involves vision care that begins today to do free vision screenings at the Edmundite Missions. The clinic comes to Selma once a month. It was started three years ago, and the clinic has been able to help over 5,000 people, according to Barry Elliot who represented the clinic at the grant ceremony.
- The Black Belt Mobile Pantry offers food relief to families in need in the Black Belt area.
- The Dallas County Bicentennial efforts celebrated the county’s 200th year since being formed. The celebration was held at Old Cahawba.
- Artists Candi Duncan and Charlie Lucas will continue to host their annual summer art camp that brings in students from all over the region, according to the two artists.
- Tremont School Hazardous Material Investigation continues the renovation plans of Tremont School in Old Town. According to Sylvia Smith, who was the representative for the project at the grant day, Tremont School was built around 1912 and was Selma’s first public high school. It was also as a middle and alternative schools. Smith said the school was not a priority because of funding and was given to the Selma Historical Society where renovations began. Smith said the group tries to raise money through the Selma Pilgrimage but any grants received help the project.
Noopie Cosby with The Cosby Company a governmental and public affairs agency that worked with RC&D, spoke after each project representative said a few words about what the awarded grants would do for their projects.
“I’m astonished by listening to all of this,” said Cosby adding that there is a lot of projects happening around the area.
Rep. Prince Chestnut, D-Selma, attended the meeting. Chestnut is a member of the education budget committee, according to Cosby, which helps fund the grants received by the organizations.
“I just want to say I’m thankful to be in a position to serve and to assist,” said Chestnut. “I’m just overjoyed everyday to help people who are working diligently doing what needs to be done to help kids and adults who need these services.”
Sen. Malika Sanders-Fortier, D-Selma, who also is part of the education budget committee said she was excited about all the projects that are occurring in the area.
“I want to say thank you to RC&D,” said Fortier. “I’m very excited about what I have heard here today. It makes me want to shout ‘Dallas County strong’. All of the work being done in the community there is so many rich things going on in our community. I am just elated about that. We all know the challenges we face in Dallas County. We know we face issues of violence and our economy but we have great people who are working in our community to make sure that Dallas County is strong. I want to be right there with you all along the way. I am passionate about Dallas County and passionate about Selma. It takes each one of us doing what we are called to do.”