The collaborative efforts advance watershed protection and economic improvement
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Chesapeake Bay Trust, in partnership with Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR, announced $727,500 in grants to be awarded to 15 organizations through the Green Streets, Green Towns, Green Jobs Grant Initiative (G3). This program was created in 2011 to encourage local jurisdictions to use “green” techniques when pursuing necessary “grey” infrastructure projects, accomplishing two goals within one project.
These collaborative efforts advance watershed protection and economic improvement through the development of storm water management techniques, green jobs creation, beautification of neighborhoods and community enhancement. This announcement includes seven projects designed to improve the city of Baltimore specifically, as well as eight other initiatives in Pennsylvania, Virginia and elsewhere throughout Maryland.
“These funds contribute to a sustainable green economy by supporting a continuous cycle of pollution prevention, water retention and job creation - leading to a better quality of life for the people who call these communities home,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “By keeping rain water from coming into contact with pollution in the first place, green infrastructure improves the health of our waters, while effectively reducing flooding, and helping our communities adapt to the very real challenges of climate change.”
Sarah’s Hope, a homeless shelter and the site for today’s grant announcement, is one of 15 grant recipients through a partnership with Parks and People Foundation. Their $75,000 grant will tie into a larger Baltimore City-led renovation and expansion project that will reduce the amount of impervious surface on the site; contribute to public open space, playground space, and community garden space; and beautify the street and help change the appearance of the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood.
In addition to the project at Sarah’s Hope, the other grantees announced today will lead efforts that include the removal of impervious concrete, the expansion of urban tree canopies, the creation of bioretention cells, and many other green infrastructure practices.
“The Chesapeake Bay Trust has been so pleased to partner with EPA and Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources on this program, combining forces and resources to provide opportunities for area residents to make a difference in their own neighborhoods and for their local waterways and community spaces,” said Jana Davis, executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust. “We want to provide local jurisdictions and neighborhood associations the tools and incentives to use green techniques when embarking on larger infrastructure projects, and to replace impervious surface with green where we can.”
The G3 Grant Program, administered by the Chesapeake Bay Trust, helps support President Obama’s Executive Order for Protecting and Restoring the Chesapeake Bay. Its purpose is to improve local, grassroots-level greening efforts by towns and communities in urbanized watersheds that reduce stormwater runoff through the creation of “green streets,” the increase in urban green spaces, and the reduction of impervious surfaces. This program is open to local governments, non-profit organizations, and neighborhood/community associations focused on green stormwater management retrofits with grants available up to $20,000 for research efforts, $30,000 for design, and $75,000 for implementation projects.
“DNR is proud to support this collaborative program,” said DNR Secretary Mark Belton. “These projects will reduce stormwater runoff not only here in Maryland, but also in other bay states like Pennsylvania and Virginia. This expanded reach beyond just Maryland is the true strength of the partnership. Through G3, we can work together – at the federal, state and local levels—to better the greater bay watershed.”
The 2015 Green Streets grant announcements include:
- 1. Mount Vernon-Belvedere Assn., Baltimore, $10,795
- 2. Friends of the North Fork Shenandoah River, Virginia, $43,615
- 3. Baltimore Tree Trust, Baltimore, $35,000
- 4. Second Chance Inc., Baltimore, $30,000
- 5. Blue Water Baltimore, Baltimore, $74,826
- 6. Land and Cultural Preservation Inc., Frederick, Md., $14,315
- 7. Community Action Commission, Pennsylvania, $70,000
- 8. City of Lancaster, Pa., $60,000
- 9. Old Goucher Community Association, Baltimore, $99,068
- 10. City of Staunton, Virginia, $75,000
- 11. American Rivers, Regional, $19,880
- 12. West/Rhode Riverkeeper Inc., Edgewater, Md., $30,000
- 13. Town of Edmonston, Edmonston, Md., $15,000
- 14. Parks & People Foundation, Baltimore, $75,000
- 15. Highlandtown Community Assn., Baltimore, $75,000