ENDICOTT, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is donating millions of dollars to organizations across the state to support environmental and climate justice.

One-hundred thousand dollars of that money is going to VINES.

The commissioner of the DEC, Basil Seggos, visited one of the gardens in Endicott and says that since 2008, the DEC has provided nearly five-hundred-thousand dollars worth of grant funds to VINES.

Commissioner, Department of Environmental Conservation Basil Seggos says, “In the crisis we are all facing right now, no one is coming to the rescue, right? We have to create these solutions ourselves. We have to create these solutions with these local partnerships. Bring in federal dollars, work along with our legislature and all the various state programs, the state commissioners and state departments that have these funding pots.”

Amelia LoDolce, the executive director of VINES says that the grant will go toward creating more urban farms in our area. As well as helping individuals who want to start a garden at their own residence.

She says that in our area, much of the soil is contaminated with lead, and this grant will increase the availability of ground testing for contaminants.

Overall, the DEC is providing three-point-one million dollars for 32 community organizations across New York.