WASHINGTON DC — The Healthy Babies Bright Futures’ (HBBF) Bright Cities program is thrilled to announce their latest round of grant funding for cities across the US that proposed lead service line replacement projects. The awards, totaling $60,000, will be split between four cities whose proposals showed promise of reducing neurotoxic exposures for expectant families and young children.
In 2022, 50% of the Bright Cities grant applications were designed to address lead remediation. While funding was not available for all these worthy projects, the need and interest were clear. In response, HBBF designed four virtual workshops to help cities leverage federal funds and replicate successful models of lead remediation.
After over 400 practitioners participated in this learning, they were invited to submit proposals for funding of relevant projects. Cities in Arkansas, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee were selected as recipients of this funding.
WHAT DO THESE CITIES PLAN TO DO?
Clarksville, TN will coordinate with community partners to connect with daycare facilities, local elementary schools, and women's health providers about potential lead exposure and remediation.
Flint, MI partnered with the community based organization “Whew, Mama!” to provide direct outreach to 1,000 households eligible for no-cost lead service line replacement.
Pine Bluff, AR will distribute home kits with items like BPA-free sippy cups or pacifiers and branded reusable bags directly to families through a network of coaches, nurses, and other direct service staff to share information about lead exposure and remediation with 100 homes. The city is providing matching funding.
Youngstown, OH will provide home kits, with Brita pitcher water pitchers, for residents and support outreach at local hospitals and childcare facilities related to potential lead exposure and remediation.
“We are pleased to be chosen as one of only four recipients for the Healthy Babies Bright Futures’ (HBBF) Bright Cities program grant,” said Clarksville Gas & Water General Manager Mark Riggins. “Grant funds will be used to coordinate with community partners and provide outreach materials to special populations within our service area about lead and galvanized service line removal,” said Riggins.
"Promoting good health is a city wide responsibility and my great thanks to the Clarksville Gas and Water Department for pursuing this program that will pay healthy dividends for the children and families of our service area,” said Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts. The aggressive promotion and education schedule will enable us to reach thousands of families quickly. Preventing illness, even one sick child, will make this program worth every penny invested,” said Mayor Pitts.
“Little by little amounts to a lot,” said Kyra Naumoff Shields, PhD, Bright Cities Program Director. “We are thrilled to partner with Clarksville, Flint, Pine Bluff, and Youngstown to support and share city-lead strategies to reduce lead exposures among babies and families because no amount of lead exposure is safe.”
About HBBF: Healthy Babies Bright Futures is a nonprofit organization that measurably reduces the largest sources of babies’ exposures to neurotoxic chemicals that harm brain development. We use original research, city governments, and strategic partnerships to empower parents, build resilient communities, and pressure decision-makers to keep babies brains safe from neurotoxic exposures.
The Bright Cities program provides grants and tailored best practices to city governments to equitably reduce community exposures to neurotoxic chemicals. Thirty-nine cities have designed and completed projects that reduced harmful exposures to neurotoxic chemicals. Our three main areas of focus are: healthier air and environments; nontoxic and environmentally-preferable purchasing; and increasing access to organic and healthy food.