Back row, left to right: Bettye Cohns, assistant director of Child Care Center of Evanston, Eleanor Revelle, CAF Advisory Committee chair, Tom Wieser, vice president of Green Spark Energy Solutions, Jim Laukes, board member of Evanston Festival Theatre; front row, left to right Sara Schastok, executive director, Evanston Community Foundation, Karen Singer, executive director Evanston/North Shore YWCA; Serena Romero, executive director of Evanston Day Nursery.

The Evanston Community Foundation announced the recipients of its first grants from the Evanston Climate Action Fund.

A total of $5,200 will be distributed to the Child Care Center of Evanston, Evanston Day Nursery, Evanston Festival Theatre, and YWCA Evanston/North Shore for lighting upgrade projects. These lighting upgrades will increase energy efficiency and generate cost savings in the form of reduced utility and maintenance costs for the nonprofits.

By pairing these Climate Action Fund grants with ComEd incentive dollars reserved for Evanston organizations, the grant recipients will be able to complete more than $7,700 in total lighting upgrades with no out of pocket costs.

Tom Wieser of Greenspark Energy Solutions, a local green contractor and community volunteer, was instrumental in determining the project scope for each organization.

In addition to conducting lighting audits for each of the grantees, Mr. Wieser prepared the incentive applications  and obtained pre-approval from ComEd  for incentive dollars for each project, all on a volunteer basis.

“We’re thrilled to be able to support these energy saving projects for these important Evanston nonprofits,” said Eleanor Revelle, advisory committee chair of the Climate Action Fund. “Now, we hope to raise more funds so we can help additional projects in the coming months.”

The Evanston Climate Action Fund was established at the Evanston Community Foundation in 2008 as a component of Evanston’s Climate Action Plan, which targets a 13 percent reduction in the community’s collective carbon footprint by 2012. A key objective of the Fund is to enable all community members to participate in achieving the 13 percent reduction, either as Fund donors or as beneficiaries of Fund grants.

Climate Action Fund grants will invest in energy reduction projects in Evanston, with a special emphasis on projects benefiting nonprofit organizations and lower-income households.