Azalia solar farm awards grants to four local organizations

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Four local programs and organizations received community grants in the second round of funding from Azalia Solar and Apex Clean Energy which is building a large-scale solar power project in the cantons of Milan and London.

The grants, launched earlier this year, support community organizations with impact in the areas of building healthy communities, economic development, environmental sustainability, and education promotion.

“As we continue to work with the community to design the Azalia Solar project, we are proud to support some of the many amazing organizations that make the Milan area a great place to live,” said Brian O’Shea, Head of Public Engagement at Apex Clean. Energy.

The Earl Gladfelter Post 268, American Legion; Symons Elementary School; the FIRST Responders robotics team from Milan High School and the drum line from the Milan High School Marching Band which are part of the group’s program.

Extension 268 will receive a grant to help prevent erosion and preserve its lobby and property located off Wabash Street. The legion is currently raising funds to install a new sea wall fence along the shore of Lake Ford. O’Shea said the company is backing the post to ensure it can continue “to support and honor our service members and veterans who have protected us and our freedoms.”

Josh Wieringa, the post’s commander, said the post was grateful for the grant.

“We are a veterans service organization. We exist to serve veterans, their families and our community through mutual aid,” Wieringa said. “We serve our region by raising funds for a variety of reasons such as helping local people in need or supporting the school district. We organize blood drives and annual events such as the Memorial Day Parade and Toys for Milan We raise most of our funds through venue rentals and our public bar and lounge.

A grant to 432 S. Platt Rd. Elementary school will help students study vermiculture and the importance of worms as natural composters. Using existing food waste from school lunches, students will care for a colony of worms that will turn this waste into worm droppings that can be used to support plant growth in and around the school.

Elizabeth Miller, a teacher at Symons, said the grant will allow the school to purchase vermiculture supplies from Urban Worm Company as well as picture books on the benefits of composting and vermiculture.

Students will care for worms and tubs, document observations and daily interactions, and teach peers, staff, families and the community about the benefits of vermiculture. “This hands-on science experience will spark students’ interest and spark interest in science, reading, writing, math, and social studies,” Miller said. “The worm bins will also work to make good use of food waste in our school. “

O’Shea said supporting STEM programs and inspiring the next generation to enter the future STEM workforce is of particular importance to the solar industry. Solar PV installers are one of the fastest growing jobs in the country, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For this reason, Azalia Solar supported the high school robotics team, he said.

The 5567 First Responder Team represents the school and its mission to engage students in real-world activities in the fields of engineering, computer coding, electrical engineering, mechanical design, business and engineering. marketing, said Jennifer Glushyn, Senior Mentor at Code Red Robotics. .

“The Code Red robotics team supports STEAM education throughout the Milan area school district,” said Glushyn. “This year, the high school team hopes to sponsor and support an additional Lego League and Lego League, a FIRST Junior team at Symons and Paddock Elementary Schools, and continue to support both FTC college teams. As you can see, FIRST Robotics is more than robots.

In addition to STEM programs, Azalia Solar supports the arts with a grant to the high school drum line to purchase much-needed drum stands. The Drum Line has been with the school for over a decade, providing leadership opportunities to hundreds of students interested in music and spreading community spirit wherever they perform, O’Shea said. .

Devin Glushyn, captain of the battery line team, said he had been an active member of the battery line for four years and captain for two years. He said the drumline has grown both in number and in experience.

“My dedication to our high school orchestral program stems not only from my interest in music, but also from the Milan community,” said Devin. “From concerts to parades, the community loves to come see us every time we perform. We would like to continue making music and expand our program to include more frequent and complex shows. This grant will allow us to purchase drum stands for our instruments, which will make the practices and performances more flexible and enjoyable for both the audience and the drum line. We will continue to make music for our community.

Azalia Solar is committed to being a strong community partner for residents, local governments and community organizations in the Milan area, O’Shea said. The company’s grant program will open an additional round of grants to meet the needs of the community and local organizations later this year. To learn more or apply for a future grant, individuals and organizations can visit Azaliasolar.com/grant.

The first round of grants in March went to Milan Seniors for Healthy Living, Aid in Milan, Moving Milan Forward and the Monroe County Opportunity Program.

A product of Apex Clean Energy, Azalia Solar is a utility-scale solar energy project with the capacity to generate up to 150 MW of Michigan’s clean energy, enough to power nearly 26,000 homes. by diversifying the local economy and supporting jobs in the community.

Located in the townships of Milan and London, the location has access to existing transmission lines on open private land and is well suited for a solar power project, O’Shea said. If approved, the project would generate tens of millions of dollars in construction spending and millions of dollars in new tax revenue to support township governments, local school districts and Monroe County departments during the project lifespan of more than 30 years, he said.

For more information, visit www.AzaliaSolar.com.


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