The Sandtown South Neighborhood Alliance will receive nearly $3,000 to create a productive flower farm and pollinator garden, increase tree canopy, and deter illegal dumping that officials hope will enable them to raise money through the production of flowers that will be sold at local markets.
The $3,000 is part of a grant announced by the Chesapeake Bay Trust totaling more than $965,000 through the Chesapeake Bay Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns Grant Program (G3).
The awards are in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the City of Baltimore Office of Sustainability.
The grant funds are earmarked to help communities develop and implement plans that reduce stormwater runoff, increase the amount of green spaces in urban areas, and to improve the health of local rivers, streams and the Chesapeake Bay. They are also are designed to create green jobs and enhance livability in cities and communities.
“We commend … all of the grantees for their winning proposals to support clean water and strong neighborhoods,” EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio said in a news release. “This program helps communities reduce pollution to local waters and the Chesapeake Bay, while improving their economy and quality of life.”
In addition to the grant for the Sandtown South Neighborhood Alliance, other organizations in Baltimore that will receive funding through the program are the Baltimore Tree Trust ($50,000); The 6th Branch ($37,767); Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development ($35,496); Bon Secours Unity Properties ($29,885); and the Center for Watershed Protection, Inc. ($16,209).
Municipalities in Virginia and Pennsylvania will also receive funding through the G3 grant.
“The Baltimore Planning Department’s Office of Sustainability knows that it’s essential to prioritize greening in a comprehensive community development strategy,” Lisa McNeilly, the director of the Office of Sustainability, Baltimore Planning Department, said in a statement. “In fact, the recently updated Sustainability Plan and newly adopted Baltimore Green Network Plan re-emphasizes our agency’s commitment to greening in communities with the highest concentration of vacant and abandoned lots.
“We are excited to support Baltimore communities through greening investments with the help of our city agency partners, nonprofit partners and the support of the mayor’s Office.”
Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Ricco says the state fully appreciates the connection of its neighborhoods, environment and economy, and this program provides tremendous support for all of these priorities.
“We commend these local communities and organizations for their outstanding projects that bolster our neighborhoods, our waters, and our outlook for the future,” Haddaway-Ricco said.
The work of the G3 program is intended to facilitate and encourage community integration of green techniques into traditional “gray” infrastructure projects.
For example, as communities have to repave roads, reconfigure intersections, or implement other gray infrastructure projects, the G3 program encourages them to add green elements at little additional up-front cost for big eventual savings on stormwater treatment, flooding abatement, and other community benefits.
“This year’s increase in award dollars is representative of the increased awareness among towns and communities that implementation of green practices now saves money later, in addition to improving quality of life across time,” said Dr. Jana Davis, executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust. “The funding partners in the G3 program have collaborated to make it easier for communities to get the resources they need to pursue these important multiple-benefit projects.”