Organization promotes sustainability with grants

West Central Initiative (WCI) awarded more than $285,000 in Resilient Communities Grants to 26 organizations working to create a more sustainable and equitable region. 

Seven community members known for their work in sustainable development and promoting racial equity participated in awarding the dollars. 

“Working alongside community members with lived and professional experience ensures a more informed and impactful grant round,” said Celeste Koppe, West Central Initiative’s Rural Initiatives Strategist. “I was impressed by the volunteers’ diligence, attention to detail, and thoughtful decision-making approaches throughout the process.”  

Promoting Sustainability

West Central Initiative awarded more than $145,000 in grants to the organizations below that are working to create a more sustainable region. Local groups that received a grant include:

• Otter Tail County Solid Waste to expand access to the Organics Recycling Program. 

• Springboard for the Arts for the mobile version of Sustainability Studios. 

• Henning Public School for the Climate Action Library. 

• Tyler Shipman Memorial Car Show for the Community Service Shed donation. 

Promoting Racial Equity 

West Central Initiative awarded more than $140,000 in grants to the organizations below that serve and/or are led by people who identify as Black, Indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC).  

• The Bridge Community Pantry for culturally specific food bags. 

• Someplace Safe for agency-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. 

• Pelican Rapids Multicultural Committee for the Pelican Rapids International Friendship Festival. 

“Investing in programs and organizations that strengthen community resilience benefits our health, the economy, and the environment,” said West Central Initiative President Anna Wasescha. “We’re excited to see how these grantees’ work will send positive waves of change across our resilient region.” 

For a map of West Central Initiative grants, visit

About West Central Initiative 

West Central Initiative (WCI) is a regional community foundation and an economic development organization serving the nine west central Minnesota counties of Becker, Clay, Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Traverse, and Wilkin and a portion of White Earth Nation. Through philanthropy and planning, WCI fuels insight and action for the benefit of our region and our world. Since 1986, WCI has provided more than $57 million in loans and $72 million in grants to businesses and organizations. Learn more at