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Over $800,000 Announced to Support Local Green Infrastructure Projects to Improve Communities and Provide Jobs

Today the Chesapeake Bay Trust in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the City of Baltimore Office of Sustainability announce $843,486 in funding for the Chesapeake Bay Green Streets-Green Jobs-Green Towns Grant Program.

The goal of the grants is to help communities develop and implement plans that reduce stormwater runoff, increase the number and amount of green spaces in urban areas, improve the health of local streams and the Chesapeake Bay, create “green jobs,” and enhance livability in cities and communities. Community-led restoration efforts support healthy neighborhoods, local jobs, and increased capacity to implement green infrastructure that supports clean water goals.

This announcement highlights awards made to 20 innovative green infrastructure projects that stretch across Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.  Local firms will be hired to perform the work, supporting jobs and material suppliers throughout the watershed.

“The Chesapeake Bay is a national treasure and central to our state’s economy – from the tourism and boating industry to watermen working on the Bay. Our communities are on the front lines of the fight to improve the health and vitality of our Bay,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen. “These grants will help continue the important progress we’ve made to clean up the Bay and preserve it for future generations.”

Pigtown Main Street, the host location for the grant announcement, is one of the 20 grant recipients. This $75,000 grant will address a critical need to reduce the amount of stormwater entering storm drains, thereby reducing the amount of stormwater carrying pollutants into the Baltimore Harbor, which has a goal to be swimmable and fishable by 2020. Bioretention stormwater practices and vegetation will be installed along Washington Boulevard, the community’s busy main street, to control runoff and demonstrate the benefits of green infrastructure.  These features will serve to provide green spaces, control traffic, and improve walkability, all of which will serve as a benefit to the many local businesses, from restaurants to shops, in this bustling community.

“We are excited Baltimore has been selected to receive grant funding to help us better manage storm-water drainage, increase much-needed green space in the City, and enhance livability across the region,” said Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh.  “These organizations have taken the important step of securing resources needed to protect our environment and improve the quality of life for all of our residents.”

In addition to the project in Pigtown, the 19 other grantees announced today will lead efforts that include the removing impervious surfaces, expanding urban tree canopy, creating bioretention cells, and many other green infrastructure practices throughout the Chesapeake Bay.

“From Baltimore and Greenbelt to Easton and Hagerstown, these green infrastructure grants will aid 15 Maryland communities develop and implement plans that reduce runoff, increase green space and enhance water quality – and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay,” said Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton. “Through the building of rain gardens and the planting of native trees, these funds will improve the health and quality of life for our citizens and communities alike.”

“The Chesapeake Bay Trust has been so pleased to combine forces with our other funding partners to provide opportunities for area residents to make a difference in their own neighborhoods and for their local waterways and community spaces,” said Dr. Jana Davis, executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust. “We want to provide local jurisdictions and neighborhood associations with the tools and incentives to use green techniques when embarking on larger infrastructure projects, replacing impervious surface with green where we can.”

The full list of the Green Streets-Green Jobs-Green Towns Grant Program awardees include:

Pigtown Main Street, $75,000          
Construction of Green Infrastructure – Washington Boulevard Green Infrastructure Project
Baltimore City, MD
To install bioretention facilities and pedestrian enhancements along a major street in the neighborhood, Washington Boulevard. The improvements will reduce stormwater runoff and improve quality of life through traffic calming and improved walkability.

The Salvation Army Harrisburg Capital City Region, $75,000    
The Salvation Army Harrisburg Green Infrastructure Expansion Project
Harrisburg, PA
To incorporate green infrastructure at a new facility and to provide educational opportunities about the stormwater management at the site. Rain gardens will be planted with native trees and shrubs providing evapotranspiration and nutrient pollutant reduction.

Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, Inc., $30,000          
Design Plan- Harris Creek EcoPark
Baltimore City, MD
To design a rain garden at Harris Creek Park to reduce the amount of stormwater entering the Baltimore Harbor. The rain garden is a part of a three phase greening initiative for Harris Creek Park that also includes the new Trash Water Wheel and invasive species removal on the park’s shoreline.

Adkins Arboretum, $21,554             
Engineered Design – Adkins Arboretum Parking Lot Alive!
Ridgely, MD
To develop engineering designs for innovative green stormwater practices to be implemented in the visitor center parking lot. The green infrastructure practices include a rain garden at the entrance, traffic island rain gardens, parking stalls converted from pavement to pervious surfacing, and a water quality/bio-swale to address roadway runoff, improve water quality in the Choptank River watershed, and to demonstrate green infrastructure practices for those interested in learning about stormwater management retrofits.

City of Hagerstown, Maryland, Department of Parks & Engineering, $48,424 
Belview Avenue Traffic Calming and Green Streets Stormwater Management
Hagerstown, MD
To demonstrate “Green Streets” by implementing bioretention curb extensions on Belview Avenue. This project will calm traffic and removal stormwater pollutants prior to discharge into Hamilton Run.

Prince George’s County, Maryland, $50,000          
Morningside and University Park Green Retrofit Projects
Prince George’s County, MD
To install three bioretention projects at the Morningside Community Center and along Queens Chapel Road in University Park, Maryland. Landscaped areas at the sites provide the opportunity to implement bioretention facilities that will clean water from 2.75 acres of urban land.

Civic Works, Inc., $20,625   
Greening Urban Vacant Lots – Milton Preston Peace Park
Baltimore City, MD
The Milton Avenue Improvement Association, in partnership with Civic Works, Inc. and the Johns Hopkins Center for Visual Arts, adopted a blighted vacant lot at 2500 Preston Street and will transform the vacant lot into a Peace Park and visual arts hub. The Peace Park will include a pollinator-friendly garden, a fruit orchard, and a green meeting space for the Berea and Milton community members.

Blue Water Baltimore, $50,000        
Supporting Community Development through Green Streets in the Druid Heights Neighborhood
Baltimore City, MD
To create Green Streets in Druid Heights Neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland. This project will plant over 125 trees and remove over 5,000 square feet of concrete from an urban city.

Parks and People Foundation, Inc., $25,000          
Darley Park – The Creation of a New Vacant Lot Park in Baltimore City
Baltimore City, MD
The Darley Park project is the culmination of many nonprofits efforts to revitalize a highly visible vacant lot. Parks and People Foundation, Inc. will develop green infrastructure designs that include practices such as soil remediation, native trees and plants, a rain garden, and additional stormwater best management practices.

City of Charles Town, West Virginia, $75,000       
Implementation/Construction for the “Evitts Run Green Infrastructure Park” 
Charles Town, WV
To install three rain gardens, plant trees, and install pervious parking in a recreational park as examples of green infrastructure for the community.

Town of Colmar Manor, $30,000
A Green Street for a Deep Green Community
Colmar Manor, MD
To create a green street conceptual plan with the Town’s residents and businesses that can later be implemented to demonstrate how green infrastructure improves the Chesapeake Bay water quality starting with improvements in our neighborhoods.

Town of Easton, Maryland, $6,847             
Town of Easton Street Tree Planting Project
Easton, MD
To increase the Town of Easton’s urban tree canopy from the current 27% to the goal of 40% within the next 40 years, the Town has committed to planting 80 trees per year. To exceed their 2017 tree planting goal, this project will plant 35 street trees.

Druid Heights Community Development Corporation, $50,700 
Druid Heights Urban Renewal Community
Baltimore City, MD
To create an environmentally friendly green space for youth and families to enjoy in an underserved neighborhood in West Baltimore. This project will incorporate the City’s sustainability initiatives such as pollution prevention, urban greening, and environmental education and awareness. The effort will revitalize the neighborhood and contribute to the stewardship of the Jones Fall and the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Newport News Public Schools Plant Services, $60,000
Green School Grounds – Smart Stormwater Schools
Newport News, VA
To install green infrastructure practices on school grounds that promote outreach at the Sedgefield Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia, and to manage stormwater runoff that will and protect the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Students will increase their environmental literacy by active engagement in the design, implementation, and maintenance of the green infrastructure projects.

City of Portsmouth, Virginia, $34,086        
Conceptual Plan – Court Street Green Street for City of Portsmouth
Portsmouth, VA
To develop a green street conceptual plan that will analyze the types of green infrastructure possible and the feasibility of implementing a future green street in the City of Portsmouth’s Historic Olde Town District. A plan for public education will also be included.

City of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, $75,000   
Construction of Green Infrastructure – Pine Street & Harrisburg Avenue Green Infrastructure
Lancaster, PA
The City of Lancaster will incorporate green infrastructure practices using three vegetated curb extensions to treat stormwater and to improve pedestrian safety as well as vehicle mobility at the intersection of three streets that include North Pine Street, North Mary Street, and Harrisburg Avenue. These stormwater practices will treat runoff from a total of 51,319 square feet of impervious surface.

Canton Canopy, $18,050      
Canton Canopy Tree Pit Creation 
Baltimore City, MD
To reduce the Canton neighborhood impervious surface by creating 49 new tree pits, expanding 28 existing tree pits, and planting trees. Planting trees in the City helps achieve goals outlined in the Harris Creek Small Watershed Action Plan that were to expand the neighborhood’s tree canopy and reduce stormwater runoff.

University of Maryland Baltimore County, $19,916
White Paper on Pervious Concrete Stormwater Systems: Review and Guidance for the Successful Use of Pervious Concrete in the Chesapeake Bay
Baltimore, MD
To prepare a white paper that will advance the best practices and effective use of pervious concrete stormwater systems. The paper will address information needs of practitioners and managers that design, build, and maintain pervious concrete in order to provide better guidance for successful installation and maintenance.

City of Greenbelt, Maryland, $56,000        
Engineered Design – Cherrywood Lane Green and Complete Street Retrofit
Greenbelt, MD
To develop a green infrastructure design for Cherrywood Lane that is a high visibility and demonstration site in the Anacostia watershed. The designs will enable the City to pilot an effort that implements planned gray infrastructure improvements on Cherrywood Lane and also incorporates green stormwater infrastructure. This project serves as a pilot program for a citywide green and complete street strategy to enhance pedestrian and bicyclist facilities, beautify streets, reduce impervious cover, and protect the City’s environmental assets.

Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy, Inc., $22,284           
Greensboro Tree Initiative: Phase II
Greensboro, MD
To prioritize future tree planting locations that will improve the Choptank watershed water quality and to plant the top 70 sites identified with native trees. The Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy and the Town of Greensboro will engage community volunteers in the planting, create a tree maintenance volunteer team, and host a homeowner tree planting workshop.