HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — Two West Michigan organizations are partnering together to launch a Community Carbon Fund focused on reducing the carbon footprint across the Holland area and preserving the local environment.

The Community Carbon Fund will be run by the Outdoor Discovery Center Network and the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area.

“Residents and visitors agree — the West Michigan region is beautiful with a rich diversity of natural spaces. We want to preserve our environment for current and future generations,” organizers said in a release.

The ODC Network started a series of listening sessions in 2021 to hear from community leaders, business owners and other nonprofits for ideas on how to cut down carbon emissions. The feedback led to the launch of the Community Carbon Fund.

It will allow businesses, nonprofits and individuals to support local projects that help the environment, like tree planting and infrastructure upgrades.

The ODC Network will be the boots on the ground organizing local projects, while the CFHZ will handle the financials.

“These cross-sector partnerships are critical to restoring the environment, promoting well-being and bolstering economic prosperity,” ODC Network Sustainability Manager Joe Sikma said in a release.

A committee has been formed to help guide the first round of projects covered by the Community Carbon Fund. The committee will include a mix of local entrepreneurs and business owners, along with representatives from the City of Holland, Park Township, the Holland Board of Public Works and Lakeshore Area Habitat for Humanity.

The first project is already underway — a tree-planting mission at ODC Network’s Dragonflies Discovery Preschool in Holland.