The Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation has been dedicated to the defense and conservation of our natural world, parks and open space, animal welfare, and reproductive rights.
Donor Name: Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation
Counties: Selected Counties
Type of Grant: Grant
Deadline (mm/dd/yyyy): 01/21/2022
Grant Duration: 2 years
The foundation continues to support efforts to protect the natural world with sustainable solutions for environmental and societal problems that accompany modern technological development and expanding human populations.
The founders laid out the following as the Foundation’s five areas of focus:
- Natural Resources Conservation: The natural environment is an interconnected system that is essential to the lives and well-being of people and wildlife. Key threats in the region include the pace and scale of new development, an expanding industrial footprint and continued reliance on gray infrastructure, all with few regulatory safeguards, contributing to climate change, biodiversity loss, urban flooding, inadequate water supply, and air and water pollution. Communities of color and those with low incomes are disproportionately burdened by these environmental harms.
- Parks and Open Space: Parks, trails and open spaces provide places for children, families and communities to connect with nature and each other. Parks provide opportunities for physical activity, support mental well-being and allow people to gain appreciation for the natural world. However, many residents within the Foundation’s geographies of interest do not live within the recommended 10-minute walk of a park, and there are disparities in the quality of local parks across communities.
- Animal Care Facilities: To maintain a healthy ecological balance, it is vital that they protect and care for animals, both domestic and wild. However, the built environment and human activity present hazards to wildlife within the Foundation’s geographic areas of interest, and challenges related to stray dogs and cats, animal cruelty and responsible pet ownership are pervasive.
- Environmental Literacy: Along with building critical thinking skills and improving academic achievement, environmental education enhances connections with nature and encourages future environmental stewardship. Ensuring that all children and youth have access to high-quality environmental education – particularly in the outdoors – will build knowledge, skills and motivation to tackle environmental challenges of today and tomorrow.
- Reproductive Rights: Unintended pregnancy, including teen pregnancy, is associated with a range of adverse outcomes for women and their families, as well as society at large. Comprehensive reproductive care helps prevent unintended pregnancies and births, while supporting the autonomy of women. However, access to the full spectrum of reproductive services is increasingly limited in the Foundation’s geographies of interest.
- The Foundation’s primary areas of geographic focus are Texas and southwestern Colorado. They accept LOIs for work outside these regions by invitation only. If the work you are proposing is not in these areas, but you feel the work aligns strongly with the Foundation’s goals.
- Additionally, in its work to support community parks and animal care facilities, the Foundation focuses on greater Houston, central Texas and southwestern Colorado and accepts LOIs from outside these areas by invitation only.