Largo, MD - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin, Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) Secretary Ben Grumbles, and Prince George’s County Council Member Mary Lehman joined Prince George’s County Department of the Environment (DoE) Director Adam Ortiz and Chesapeake Bay Trust Executive Director Jana Davis, for a special ceremony recognizing recipients of the Prince George’s County Stormwater Stewardship Grants. Prince George’s County neighborhoods, faith-based organizations, non-profits and residents were honored during the event that was held at Behnke Nurseries Garden Center in Beltsville.
Behnke is one of the region’s top garden centers and also a grant recipient. Project funding supported the installation of an eye-catching Rain Check Rebate Living Classroom at the nursery showcasing stormwater management best practice demonstrations including cisterns, rain barrels, urban tree canopies, rain gardens, permeable pavement and green roofs.
Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III congratulated the grantees and noted that “Prince George’s is thrilled to work with the Chesapeake Bay Trust to advance environmental stewardship in our County. This special event showcases more than just projects that impact our sustainability; today, we honor partnerships between the County and the community that are solving environmental issues within our boundaries and around the region."?
Established in 2014, the Stormwater Stewardship Grant Program focuses on two specific areas including water quality programs (funding from $20,000 to $200,000 per project) and citizen engagement projects ($5,000 to $50,000 per project).
“Prince George’s County has become a national leader in creating cost effective, green solutions for controlling stormwater, and EPA is proud to be a partner in that effort,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “It is rewarding to see what we can accomplish when partners come together working toward a common goal.”
Grants totaling $2.4 million have been awarded through the program, supporting 33 on-the- ground restoration projects that treat and control stormwater, reduce nutrient and sediment pollution from rain storms, create employment opportunities for County-based businesses, and foster citizen awareness and engagement in cleaning up and preserving the County’s natural resources.
"Maryland Department of the Environment congratulates Prince George's County for storming ahead as an environmental leader in innovation and collaboration, from financing and public-private partnerships to active engagement with faith-based, civic and non-profit communities,” said Ben Grumbles, Maryland Secretary of the Environment.
During its inaugural year, 13 grants totaling $1,050,000 were awarded through the program. Of which, $242,219 supported education and outreach projects that increase citizen awareness of watershed issues and/or engage citizens in action projects; and, $807,781 funded the construction of water quality projects with an emphasis on practices that treat impervious surfaces including green roofs, stormwater wetland creation and enhancement, streamside forest buffers, and bioretention cells, bioswales and rain gardens.
"Nurturing the next generation of stewards while improving and preserving our watersheds is essential to our County’s environmental health. I am thrilled to see Prince George’s collaborating and working hand-in-hand with our municipalities, places of worship, and community and environmental groups on such a variety of projects," said Councilwoman Mary A. Lehman.
In 2015, 20 grants totaling $1,350,000 were awarded; of which, $149,608 funded citizen engagement projects, and $1,200,392 supported water quality programs.
“The Trust is proud to be a partner with Prince George’s County in engaging residents and making a difference on the ground,” said Jana Davis, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust. “These grants leverage so much power from the community to add to the fantastic work Prince George’s is already undertaking to improve the quality of our natural resources. It’s going to take everyone, from school kids to neighbors to local businesses, to restore our water quality, and the skyrocketing interest level in these grants shows that the public is ready to be engaged!”
Twenty-eight organizations, communities, businesses and churches honored during the event. Following is a list of grant recipients, amount awarded and a brief description of their project.
“Through this strongly supported grant program, Prince George’s is improving communities, water quality in local waterways and engaging residents in steps they can take in their own backyards to keep our County clean, healthy and green,” commented DoE Director Adam Ortiz.
To learn more about these projects and the Stormwater Stewardship Grant Program, contact Lauren A. Kinard, Public Information Specialist, Department of the Environment, (301) 883-5957, email@example.com or Jennifer Kley, Communications Associate, Chesapeake Bay Trust (410-974-2941 x113), firstname.lastname@example.org; or Jana Davis, Executive Director, Chesapeake Bay Trust, 410-279-7889, email@example.com.
Stormwater Stewardship Grant Program Honorees:
Accokeek First Church of God, $75,000: This project will implement the Alternative Compliance program that includes installing stormwater best management practices (BMPs), providing outreach workshops to residents and fostering good housekeeping practices.
Alice Ferguson Foundation, $212,808: Project funding supported Prince George’s Green’s development and implementation of a clean water course for County residents interested in stormwater management and employment, and will fund the construction of rooftop rainwater collection system, cistern, rain garden and bioswale at AFF's Potomac Watershed Study Center.
Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Inc.; $156,926: Tree canopy enhancement throughout the County is the focus of this project, which supports the planting of 750 trees and funds faith-based education workshops on stormwater management best practices.
Anacostia Riverkeeper; $27,715: To improve water quality in the Anacostia watershed, this project will focus on the installation of stormwater harvest and re-use systems, and stormwater BMP education.
Anacostia Watershed Society; $48,000: Project funding supported a Prince George’s County Watershed Stewards Academy that provided education and training of County residents in watershed protection issues, design and construction of restoration projects preventing stormwater runoff, and to implement their “capstone” projects.
City of College Park; $66,180: Grant funds will support the installation of stormwater BMPs (bioretention, tree boxes and planting) and interpretive signage along Narragansett Parkway at Muskogee Street, a priority area in the Indian Creek Subwatershed Restoration Plan.
City of District Heights; $34,862: To promote green infrastructure, improve stormwater runoff and neighborhood beautification efforts, this project focuses on the design and installation of a highly visible rain garden along the District Heights Parkway.
City of Greenbelt; $187,700: This project will engage the public on stormwater issues while implementing a needed water quality treatment project at Buddy Attick Park.
City of Hyattsville; $20,431: This project consists of the installation of a rain garden, meadow and tree plantings across 8,400 square feet at Anacostia Tributary Trail System.
Clean Water Fund; $25,257: Grant funds will support a social marketing program in Capitol Heights focusing on educating homeowners about stormwater pollution, adopting watershed-friendly practices for residential properties and promoting the County's Rain Check Rebate program.
ECO City Farms; $45,000: Project funding will support installation of several BMPs to alleviate flooding at the urban farm and developing an environmental stewardship education program that serves the neighborhood’s Latino community.
Friends of Lower Beaverdam Creek; $114,227: Project focuses on designing and building stormwater retrofit projects that address small scale residential flooding in the Quincy Run Watershed vicinity. This effort will communicate the Rain Check Rebate Program and the Alternative Compliance Program to the community.
Global Health and Education Projects, Inc.; $15,000: Through this project, grant funds will support the Family Tree Adoption Program that helps residents select and plant trees on their property and also provides tree maintenance education to new tree owners.
Maryland League of Conservation Voters Education Fund; $22,500: To engage Latino youth, increase their awareness and capacity to respond to the problem of trash and litter in their communities, grant funding will support the production of literature and workshops in Spanish, and will connect stormwater management with environmental health, economic and environmental justice, and community participation.
Neighborhood Design Center; $153,740: This funding represents three projects that assist community groups, small municipalities, schools and faith-based organizations, create a comprehensive plan for addressing stormwater runoff and pollution in their community and on private properties. In addition, the funding supports technical assistance for project development to submit grants to the Prince George’s Stormwater Stewardship program.
New Hope Educational Institute; $125,000: Grant funds will support capturing and treating runoff, reducing severe erosion, educating students about stormwater pollution, and engaging the community in the design and implementation of stormwater management practices.
Parkdale High School; $200,000: This project will treat stormwater runoff through the design and creation of green infrastructure. This effort will provide hands-on stormwater stewardship education and community mentorships for Parkdale High School students. This is a model project that brings together technical experts, non-profits, teachers, students, and the community to clean water and engage citizens.
People for Change Coalition; $35,000: Project funding will provide technical assistance to Prince George’s County faith-based organizations to support them as they apply for the Rain Check Rebate Program, the Alternative Compliance Program and the Stormwater Stewardship grant program.
Pheasant Run Home Owner's Association, Inc.; $11,730: To address several community-based environmental issues, the grant funds will support rain barrels, conservation landscaping and pet waste stations in the Pheasant Run community.
Suitland Civic Association; $35,000: Grant funds will support the Suitland Rain Barrel Project, which will raise the awareness of the benefits of rain barrels, provide training and jobs for rain barrel installation, and provide outreach to residents about the Rain Check Rebate Program.
The Empowerment Institute; $152,145: This project removed impervious cover, installed a bioretention area to treat parking lot runoff, and engages the community at the Southern Avenue Market in Oxon Hill.
The Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin; $61,938: Grant funds will support the Score Four for Students, Schools, Streams and the Bay Program that will involve 400 students and five teachers to develop Student Stormwater Action Projects. Also, ICPRB will provide a series of watershed lessons and community resources to facilitate stormwater stewardship among students.
The Low Impact Development Center, Inc.; $64,318: To educate County property owners on small scale stormwater solutions, grant funds supported the installation of seven Prince George’s County Rain Check Rebate stormwater management practices at Behnke’s Nursery in Beltsville. The installation of the practices will achieve reductions in nutrient and sediments loads in local rivers and demonstrate to residents what they can install on their own property.
Town of Forest Heights: $49,794: This project trained a team of high school students, a college student, and a local elder in the community to water, weed and mulch 500 street trees in the Town of Forest Heights. Students presented findings to the Town Council and one student was hired by the Town at the project completion in 2015.
Town of Landover Hills; $126,578: Grant funds support the installation of rain gardens, a bioretention swale, and permeable pavers to capture and treat stormwater runoff, reduce severe erosion in the downstream creek channel, and educate students, teachers and local residence about stormwater pollution and its impact on the environment.
Union Bethel AME Church; $128,381: The project will serve as a model to implement the County's Alternative Compliance Program's three criteria for Clean Water Act Fee reductions, support design and construction of two stormwater BMPs, facilitate development of outreach workshops on the impact of individual activities on water quality, and develop maintenance plans for water conservation, pet waste programs, trash reduction, better pesticide and herbicide use, and vegetation maintenance.
University of Maryland College Park; $80,000: This project provides environmental education about low impact development techniques to students entering the workforce and training on rain gardens, green roofs and filtration through the Branch Avenue in Bloom urban farm.
University of Maryland College Park Foundation; $124,770: Project funds support the design and implementation of stormwater management practices to treat stormwater runoff, engage University of Maryland College Park students and golf course visitors, and train University staff for future stormwater implementation and maintenance.