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First Edge of Appalachia – Adams County Fund grants and scholarships announced

Nearly $93,000 awarded to Adams County organizations and residents

WEST UNION, Ohio – The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) announce the first grants and scholarships awarded through the Edge of Appalachia – Adams County Fund.

Nearly $93,000 in funding has been awarded to Adams County organizations and residents working to improve quality of life in their communities.

“At the heart of this funding is community – support for the people and organizations doing transformative work in our communities and a new chapter in our longtime commitment to Adams County,” said Martin McAllister, community engagement specialist for The Nature Conservancy. “This is only the beginning of what we can do together, and we are incredibly grateful for those, including the fund’s review committee, who share our passion for the well-being of the people and communities of Adams County.”

TNC established the Edge of Appalachia – Adams County Fund at FAO to create a new annual revenue stream that invests in local residents, organizations and communities to ensure that Adams County is a place where youth thrive, businesses flourish and visitors have memorable experiences.

Grant recipients

Public and nonprofit organizations located in or serving Adams County, as well as groups working in fiscal sponsorships with a nonprofit or public organization, were invited to apply for grants for projects that support people and nature and/or reduce disparities.

Inaugural grant recipients were awarded a total of $77,865 in financial support. They are:

  • The Adams County 4-H Advisory Committee to support experiential learning through a field trip to the Cincinnati Natural History Museum and a field day at an Adams County nature preserve, connecting local youth and their families to nature and to one another
  • The Adams County Public Library to add 60 Wi-Fi hotspots, which will be loaned to Adams County residents who lack adequate home internet access
  • The Adams County Travel & Visitors Bureau to fund interior design, displays and educational materials for the new Adams County Welcome Center at Adams Lake State Park
  • Green Township to support the restoration and relocation of historical graves at Foster Cemetery that are at risk due to the erosion of the banks of Ohio Brush Creek
  • West Union Elementary School to support the school’s Family STEM Nights for three years and experiential learning opportunities for students and their families

Scholarship recipients

Three Adams County residents were each awarded $5,000 scholarships from the Edge of Appalachia – Adams County Fund Scholarship.

The scholarship assists graduating high school seniors and students already enrolled in undergraduate postsecondary or accredited trade, vocational or technical training programs who are pursuing degrees in one of the following:

  • Ecology, forestry, wildlife ecology or related natural resource fields
  • Trade, vocational or technical training fields that contribute to energy efficiency, agriculture or land stewardship
  • Programs that foster diversity, equity, justice and inclusion, including, but not limited to, Appalachian studies or women’s studies

“We are grateful to partner with The Nature Conservancy as it furthers its dedication and generosity to the people and communities of Adams County,” said Cara Dingus Brook, FAO president and CEO. “These investments will benefit all who call Adams County home and provide new opportunities to learn, work, play and flourish, both today and for years to come.”

For more information about the Edge of Appalachia – Adams County Fund and to stay up to date on 2024 grant and scholarship application dates, please visit

To learn more about FAO and how you can support and create opportunities for the people and communities of Appalachian Ohio, visit, email or call 740.753.1111.