Take Action on Air Quality Mini Grants

Welcome to CAPHE’s Take Action on Air Quality Mini Grants! Mini grants offer up to $5000 to support community projects to improve air quality in Detroit area neighborhoods.

  • Grants are open to residents and community-based organizations working to improve air quality in Detroit and surrounding neighborhoods.

  • Proposals led by community residents directly affected by poor air quality are especially encouraged.

  • Proposals should address one or more of the recommendations in CAPHE’s Public Health Action Plan.

CAPHE’s Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) is a set of scientifically grounded, community informed recommendations developed by the CAPHE Partnership to improve air quality in Detroit and the surrounding areas. The PHAP recommendations cover many different ways to improve air quality.

You can learn more about the PHAP by clicking the button below.

Applications are closed.


The next application cycle will start in November, 2024.

Questions? Contact us:

Phone: 515-240-7904 Email: aresha@umich.edu

Application Resources

We are proud to present our current and past grantees.

Take a look at their projects for some inspiration!

2023 Grantees

Concerned Residents for South Dearborn (CRSD)

Project Name: Public Information Sessions on Air Quality

Award: $5000

Project Description:

In the South End of Dearborn, CRSD will engage and educate residents about the area’s air quality issues by encouraging the community to report violations and be engaged in air quality permitting, pollution mitigation, and supplemental environmental projects. They also plan to educate the community on the use, benefits, and maintenance of indoor air purifiers, which will be provided as a part of an agreement with Cliffs Steel, a major polluter in the area.

Learn more about this project.

Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision (SDEV)

Project Name: Air Quality Fellows Project: Anti-Idling in Schools

Award: $5000

Project Description:

In partnership with BuildOn Detroit, SDEV will expand its existing Anti-Idling in Schools project to four new schools. SDEV will conduct a series of meetings and workshops focused on air quality with students in each school, and work with students at each school to co-create an air quality project. Students will document their learning on social media to bring air quality awareness to their peers, family members and neighbors. This project will also include efforts to explore the potential for additional relationships with instructors, administrators and parents at the participating schools.

Learn more about this project.

Eastside Community Network (ECN)

Project Name: The Eastside Air Monitors

Award: $5000

Project Description:

ECN will expand their efforts to collect data on air quality and increase community engagement around climate issues in East Side Detroit by installing air monitors at neighborhood hubs and purchasing wearable air monitors to lend out to residents. ECN will build capacity for air quality advocacy among residents by paying them to collect data through wearable air monitors, making air quality data available to the public, and supporting efforts to centralize data and track air quality.

Learn more about this project.

Sanctuary Farms

Project Name: Democratizing Air Monitoring in Southeast Detroit

Award: $5000

Project Description:

Sanctuary Farms, an urban garden in Southeast Detroit, plans to purchase a mobile air quality monitor and rotate the monitor between community selected sites within Southeast Detroit. This project will enhance air quality monitoring in a cost effective manner, extending its reach into various communities and creating a foundation for community members to use the monitoring system. CAPHE will assist Sanctuary Farms with synthesizing and interpreting data, and providing materials to increase air quality awareness and mitigation among community members and organizations.

Learn more about this project.

Big Bad Wolf House

Project Name: Cleaner Air For Quality Outdoor Play

Award: $5000

Project Description:

Big Bad Wolf House, a self-directed learning center serving Southwest Detroit, is located between 2 large trucking centers and two major highways (I-94 and I-96). The center will create an outdoor learning space with layers of filtration, including an air quality garden that will serve as a vegetative buffer, and a fence for additional protection from air pollutants. They will also install air purifiers inside the learning center.

Learn more about this project.

2018 Grantees

Auntie Na’s House

Project Name: Clean Air in Our Village

Award: $5000

Project Description: The ‘Clean Air in Our Village’ project will contribute to long-term improvements to indoor and outdoor air quality as well as overall youth and community education about air quality issues and pollution reduction strategies. Auntie Na’s plans to install indoor air filters in the Village Community Centers, plant trees on lots near the I-96 and Davison Freeway, and develop and implement environmental and social justice education for children and teens participating in Auntie Na’s summer program.

Pilgrim Baptist Church

Applicant: Pilgrim Baptist Church

Project Name: Renewable Option for Houses of Worship

Award: $5000

Project Description: The Renewable Option for Houses of Worship Project includes installation of solar powered security lights above the entrances to a building adjacent to a neighborhood Detroit church that the church owns and uses for its community food distribution center for neighborhood residents. This pilot project will be used as an example in a series of three workshops for houses of worship in Detroit that will promote the use of renewable energy by houses of worship in the City.

Denby Neighborhood Alliance/Great Communities Now! Coalition

Project Name: Denby Community Engagement Project

Award: $5000

Project Description: The Denby Community Engagement Project will plant vegetative buffers along Outer Drive and the Whittier business corridor to reduce residents’ exposure to air pollution.

In Memory Community Garden

Project Name: In Memory Community Garden Solar Project

Award: $5000

Project Description: The In Memory Community Garden Solar Project will improve air quality and educate residents by increasing the use of renewable energy in Detroit through a pilot solar project in Detroit’s Warrendale neighborhood. This pilot project will install solar lighting in the In Memory Community Garden and will build capacity so that residents, leaders, and youth can learn about the process and benefits of installing solar power, as well as co-benefits related to air quality and safety.

Great Lakes Environmental Law Center

Project Name: Detroit Vegetative Buffer Project

Award: $5000

Project Description: The Great Lakes Environmental Law Center will conduct a survey of local ordinances from across the country to determine the best practices regarding vegetative buffers, use its analysis to create a draft vegetative buffer ordinance for Detroit, and conduct stakeholder outreach to both residents and local government to receive input on the draft ordinance and to educate stakeholders about the purpose and need for the ordinance.

South by Southwest Collaborative (hosted at Grace in Action)

Project Name: Cultural Ambassadors for Clean Air

Award: $2500

Project Description: Cultural Ambassadors for Clean Air [CA4CA]: Be Aware of Your Air Campaign is an educational program with two goals 1) reach populations and social networks from the Latinx, African and Arab American communities to implement culturally appropriate, multi-lingual ways to teach about clean air 2) build a common curriculum together across neighborhoods communicating the same message, cleaner air=better health. The process will enhance the leadership of local community residents on the fencelines in pollution-impacted areas who will lead the process of researching information about pollution, titling them Cultural Ambassadors (CA). CA’s will look at current information, research to develop and implement 3-5 multi-lingual lesson plans that identify the pollution sources, health impacts, and regulatory framework that govern pollution control in Southwest Detroit and South Dearborn.

Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition

Project Name: ACT: Advocating For Clean Air Together

Award: $2500

Project Description: The ACT Program, Advocating for Cleanair Together, mobilizes information about the impacts and solutions to air pollution, utilizing power maps, to create a strategic advocacy plan for Detroit, Dearborn and River Rouge. It will be an effort to investigate and identify key decision makers in air quality and public health at the local and state level, and within private corporations. This process will help strategically engage in dialogue and education of those actors, in advocating for solutions such as health impact assessments, cleaner energy, ongoing corporate dialogue, pollution permit intervention, city council resolutions, and/or ordinances and legislation in other geographies to be implemented in SE Michigan.

2017 Grantees

The Ecology Center

Project Name: Breathe Free Detroit

Project Description: The Ecology Center, in partnership with the East Michigan Environmental Action Council (EMEAC) and the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center, will continue its education and public outreach campaign, Breathe Free Detroit, to mitigate the harm caused by the Detroit Renewable Power trash incinerator.

Green Door Initiative

Project Name: Detroit Asthma Team (DAT)

Project Description: The DAT convened a multi-stakeholder planning group for the development of an air quality management plan for facilities which house early childhood education and child care programs throughout Detroit.

Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision (SDEV)

Project Name: Reducing Deadly Emissions in Detroit

Project Description: SDEV will launch an anti-idling public awareness and outreach campaign to encourage diesel engine drivers/owners to reduce idling. SDEV will also work to build public awareness of Detroit’s anti-idling ordinance and to improve the ordinance.