Seventeen Projects Unveiled to 'Green' Local Communities

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Posted: Monday, July 4, 2016 6:24 pm

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Chesapeake Bay Trust, in partnership with Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources, announced $803,489 in grants to be awarded to 17 organizations through the "Green Streets, Green Towns, Green Jobs" Grant Initiative. This program was created in 2011 to advance watershed protection and economic vitality by developing green stormwater management techniques that create jobs and help make communities more livable.

This announcement includes five projects designed to improve central Pennsylvania, as well as twelve other initiatives in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia.

"These funds help communities transition to a sustainable environment and economy by creating a cycle of pollution prevention, greening and job creation, leading to a better quality of life," 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 reducing flooding and helping our communities become more resilient to climate change."

The Salvation Army Harrisburg Capital City Region, the host for the grant announcement, is one of 17 grant recipients. Their $29,760 grant will help build a stormwater management system to control runoff, and demonstrate the benefits of green infrastructure in the capital. This grant will also help achieve Harrisburg’s Comprehensive Plan to increase plantings to help control and absorb stormwater, and offset the urban heat island effect.

"Our goal through our new Salvation Army facility is to transform our community in a positive way. Diligent attention is being given to the local environment which enables us to provide more effective programs and services. For instance, incorporating vegetable gardens and green space into our facility design will enable us to teach and emphasize 'farm to table' concepts to kids in our youth programs, and to adults and families through our Nutrition Education and Family Services programs. This is an efficient and effective way to feed and teach hungry people in our community, while also demonstrating responsible stewardship of our environment in Harrisburg and beyond," said Major John Griner, Corps Officer at the Salvation Army.

"Congratulations to the Salvation Army Harrisburg on being awarded the G3 Grant to manage its stormwater drainage. The Salvation Army has taken an important step in securing the resources needed to protect our environment and improve the quality of life for all of our residents," said Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse.

In addition to the project at the Salvation Army, the other grantees announced will lead efforts that include the removing impervious surfaces, expanding urban tree canopy, creating 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 Dr. 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. "Green Streets" grants support clean water and foster community development by helping to fund local grass-roots efforts to increase green spaces and reduce runoff. The program is open to local governments, non-profit organizations, and neighborhood and community associations. Grants of up to $20,000 are available for research, $30,000 for planning and design, and $75,000 for implementing green infrastructure projects.

SOURCE: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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