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More Green is Good as Gold for Maryland Communities

The Chesapeake Bay Trust has announced funding for 15 new greening projects, with seven of them planned for Baltimore. Credit: Chesapeake Bay Trust.
The Chesapeake Bay Trust has announced funding for 15 new greening projects, with seven of them planned for Baltimore. Credit: Chesapeake Bay Trust.
June 17, 2015

BALTIMORE - The Chesapeake Bay Trust has announced funding for 15 new greening projects, with seven of them planned for Baltimore.

The funds come from the Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns Grant Initiative in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency and Maryland's Department of Natural Resources. Regional EPA administrator Shawn Garvin said the projects demonstrate innovation, while also reducing stormwater pollution that eventually would reach Chesapeake Bay.

"Keeping pollution from coming in contact with the water in the first place," he said. "They have a lot larger benefit, making these communities resilient, sustainable, through these affordable approaches."

One of the grants will pay for a community green space and outdoor play area at Sarah's Hope, an emergency homeless shelter for families in Baltimore.

Jana Davis, executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust, said these projects can have a healing quality, especially for Baltimore, which has witnessed tough situations over the past year.

"There are statistics from multiple academic studies that show crime goes down in these types of neighborhoods, the aesthetics improve, people's quality of lives improve," she said. "Economics can improve. These types of projects create lots of green jobs."

The jobs created are local, Garvin said, describing additional benefits.

"Putting trees in the communities lowers the impact of heat-island effect; people use less energy," he said, "As it's doing all that, it's creating beautification of our communities, as well as providing places for habitat."

Greening projects will also be completed in Pennsylvania, Virginia and elsewhere in Maryland.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MD