Resources available to address communities' environmental and energy challenges

Small Towns

The Heartland Environmental Justice Center (HEJC) is a first-stop resource for communities seeking help with pressing environmental and energy equity challenges. 

We offer no-cost, customized support to strengthen communities’ ability to identify challenges, plan and implement solutions, and work toward achieving their goals. What does that mean? Below are examples of support and training available through the HEJC.

Custom support

Every community and organization addressing environmental and energy equity challenges has unique and evolving needs. HEJC program managers, community program coordinators, and partners can support these needs by providing resources and connections.

Examples of our support services:

  • Assistance finding the right grant for your community project,
  • Host a virtual or in-person needs assessment for your community,
  • Build a project budget with you,
  • Connect you with environmental organizations across the region to support coalition-building and partnership development,
  • Support on engagement with government processes and navigating federal systems such as and,
  • Help you establish a nonprofit organization,
  • And more.


We develop customized training for communities based on their unique needs or provide tools, templates, and resources to help communities maximize existing training opportunities. We connect communities to our training materials and help them apply their knowledge to real-time issues and projects.

Examples of our training services:

  • Host a virtual or in-person training for your team on various topics including navigating and applying for grants, environmental justice concepts, environmental project design basics, community needs assessments, and more.
  • Curate a custom resource hub for your organization with information on how to leverage these resources for progress on environmental and energy projects with which you need help.
  • One-on-one talks with our community program coordinators to help you identify what training could be developed or provided based on your specific community needs.

We can also help identify the challenges your community faces. Even if your environmental and energy initiatives are outside the scope of what the HEJC can support, we can provide you with external resources and connect you with organizations that may be able to help.

In Nebraska, your contacts are part of the Center for Rural Affairs. Email them at or call 402.687.2100. Visit the CFRA website at to learn more about the HEJC and CFRA’s role.

Information for this article was provided by the HEJC and may be accessed at