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Communities Receive More "Green" to Go Green

Flood prevention is one benefit of green infrastructure projects that are being funded in five Chesapeake Bay states with nearly $700,000 of grant money. (Pixabay)
Flood prevention is one benefit of green infrastructure projects that are being funded in five Chesapeake Bay states with nearly $700,000 of grant money. (Pixabay)
July 5, 2018

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Communities are finding it easier to go green when there's some "green" to help them make the transition - in the form of nearly $700,000 in grants announced this week.

Towns and cities across five states and the District of Columbia use the money for infrastructure projects to reduce stormwater runoff, add green space to urban areas and improve the health of waterways and Chesapeake Bay.

The town of Bath, W.Va., is a three-time recipient of the "Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns" or "G3" grant program. Mayor Scott Merki said the town has used the funds to remove impervious surfaces.

"I mean, after this last flood, I am a big believer in the green infrastructure now," he said, "and putting this stuff in to get this water away from our businesses, get this water away from our streets - get it into the drains, where they need to go."

The town of Bath will receive $42,000 to continue expanding its urban tree canopy. The National Wildlife Federation will get about $66,000 to make a vacant lot into green space in the Druid Heights neighborhood in Central-West Baltimore.

The G-3 grants are a partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Trust, the federal Environmental Protection Agency, Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the City of Baltimore's Office of Sustainability.

Jana Davis, executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust, said they've funded 21 green infrastructure projects in this grant cycle.

"These projects are going to do amazing work for our communities," she said. "These projects beautify communities, and they also reduce flooding. and they have an environmental benefit. So, it's really a win-win-win."

Blue Water Baltimore got about $59,000 to plant hundreds of trees on local streets. ShoreRivers in Cambridge will receive around $52,000 for a pilot program to transform vacant lots into green spaces.

G3 information is online at cbtrust.org.

Trimmel Gomes, Public News Service - MD