News Releases from Region 03
$30,000 Urban Waters Grant Awarded for Green Stoop Challenge
PHILADELPHIA (August 9, 2018) – Today, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $30,000 grant to the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore for the “Green Stoop Challenge.”
The Green Stoop Challenge will engage communities in Baltimore’s Harris Creek Watershed to plant and maintain 450 tree pits. Residents will be trained as tree pit gardeners and will learn about the benefits of green infrastructure and native plants. The blocks will also compete with other neighborhood blocks in a competition to determine which block has the greenest stoops.
“As Baltimore works to double its tree canopy, we have an opportunity to beautify new tree pits with native perennials that support pollinators and filter pollution from rainwater as it soaks into the ground,” said Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore Community Coordinator Leanna Wetmore. “Challenging neighbors to help care for the green infrastructure right in front of their stoop will build community and educate and engage residents of all ages while having fun!"
The Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore grant was among 59 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program grants awarded, totaling $2.2 million to restore wildlife habitat and urban waters in 30 states and the District of Columbia. Grantees have committed an additional $5.2 million in local project support, generating a total conservation impact of more than $7.4 million.
“Planting trees in urban areas can help communities become more prosperous and sustainable,” said EPA Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “Green infrastructure also has been shown to reduce the urban heat island effect which means healthier conditions for community residents.”
The grant is awarded through the NFWF’s Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program which supports projects that develop community stewardship of natural resources and addresses water quality issues in priority watersheds across the country. Support for the 2018 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program is provided by the Wildlife Habitat Council, and major funding by EPA, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Fedex, Shell Oil Company, Southern Company and BNSF Railway.
“The Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program generates measurable results for wildlife and communities across the nation,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “The 59 grants announced today will help communities improve water quality and support wildlife through a variety of conservation efforts, from the removal of invasive species and planting of native vegetation to the reduction of stormwater runoff and creation of wetlands.”
The 2018 grant winners were selected from a highly competitive pool of more than 250 applications. A full list of 2018 projects is available here.
Since 1999, the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program has supported more than 945 projects, with more than $11.9 million in federal funds, $10.6 million in private and corporate contributions, and $74.7 million in matching funds at the local level.
For more information about the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant program, visit https://www.epa.gov/urbanwaterspartners/five-star-and-urban-waters-restoration-grant-program-2018