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Acton, MA – Discovery Museum announced today a 5-year, $1M challenge grant awarded by the Sheth Sangreal Foundation, founded by Brian Sheth and Adria Sheth, to support the Museum’s sustainability plan—including conversion to solar electricity—paired with expanded environmental education and inclusion initiatives to help cultivate the next generation of environmental stewards.
The Museum’s sustainability plan goals, to be completed by 2025, include achieving carbon neutrality through on-site generation of solar power; improving campus building efficiencies and offering carbon offsets to visitors; accomplishing a 50% reduction in the Museum’s environmental footprint by reducing consumption, waste generation, and water usage; and educating and communicating these actions and impacts to a more diverse community of visitors to build environmental literacy and appreciation across the region.
“Building on our commitment to inspire life-long curiosity and encourage children to see themselves as responsible caretakers of our natural environment, we have set energetic goals aimed at reducing the Museum’s mark on the earth—all to be carried out transparently and publicly as a model to all,” said CEO Neil Gordon. “The support of the Sheth Sangreal Foundation to make this work possible speaks to Brian and Adria Sheth’s commitment to both fostering awareness of and taking real steps toward environmental sustainability. We are proud to further these goals within our region.”
“It is essential that businesses take action to protect and improve the health of our planet, while also inspiring the next generation to further that vital work,” said Brian Sheth, founder of the Sheth Sangreal Foundation. “I’ve long been inspired by the Discovery Museum’s good work in my hometown of Acton and I’m proud to support their conversion to solar and their high-impact approach towards environmental education to reach and educate our youth. This initiative will teach the next generation to first enjoy and appreciate our planet, regardless of their background or experience, and then become the caretakers of its natural resources. We hope the Museum’s leadership in this area will inspire other organizations to make similar commitments.”
The Museum will emphasize bringing science and nature-based exploration and environmental education to children who normally may not have easy access to the outdoors due to family culture, living environment, or disability. It will work to broaden the diversity of its audience and increase no- and low-cost service to schools and families by 50%, working to achieve parity with regional demographics.
As part of the $1M gift to the Discovery Museum, the Sangreal Foundation is matching a $200,000 grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund, to fund immediate need for the Museum’s site preparation for on-site solar installation this year. The Foundation is committing an additional $800,000 as a multi-year grant challenge to the Museum community to contribute matching funds by 2025 in support of the Museum’s strategic sustainability, education, and DEAI objectives.
About Discovery Museum
Discovery Museum is a hands-on museum that blends science, nature, and play, inspiring families to explore and learn together. The museum and its Discovery Woods accessible outdoor nature playscape and 550sf treehouse blend the best of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) learning on a beautiful 4.5-acre campus abutting 180 acres of conservation land in Acton, MA, about 20 miles west of Boston. Originally founded in 1982 and expanded to two museums in 1987, the museum reopened in a single, 16,000sf accessible building after a complete renovation and expansion in early 2018. Hands-on, open-ended exhibits developed by professional educators inspire curiosity and exploration, providing a fun and engaging experience for children and adults to discover their world together. Serving families and schools from towns throughout the region, the museum is devoted to informal education that enhances classroom learning. Discovery Museum is committed to accessibility and is a proud recipient of the 2017 Massachusetts Commonwealth Award, the only winner in the Access category, and a 2018 LEAD® Community Asset Award from The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. For more information, please visit www.discoveryacton.org. Discovery Museum is a community-supported non-profit organization. Discovery Museum programming is supported in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
About Sheth Sangreal Foundation
The Sheth Sangreal Foundation is an Austin-based charitable organization founded by Brian and Adria Sheth. The foundation’s granting and best practices support networks, provide needed funds and resources to allow the most vulnerable of life to thrive. It has a strong focus on the health and biodiversity of our planet, the emotional wellbeing of children, music and arts education, and the support for veterans and their families. Sangreal’s process-driven systematic approach connects people together, provides best practices and essential resources to deliver effective and measurable global impact. Sangreal funds the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Sustainability Fellow & Plastics Initiative. Brian Sheth is the founding board member of Global Wildlife Conservation, which has now partnered with Leonardo DiCaprio to become Re:wild. Re:wild focuses protecting life and our planet. More at www.sangrealfoundation.org