Chesapeake Bay Trust doles out nearly $1M to help local communities

| October 5, 2014 | 2 Comments

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CB TrustLast month the Chesapeake Bay Trust announced almost $1 million in grants to be awarded to more than 60 nonprofit organizations, municipalities and local schools throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  These awards, approved by the Trust’s board of trustees, will be made through the Trust’s competitive grant programs and range from smaller education and outreach grants to large scale restoration and stormwater management efforts.  Each quarter the Chesapeake Bay Trust announces its grant award amounts which in 2014 have totaled more than $6.5 million to date. The grants announced today will fund projects that restore area shorelines and increase habitat, advance green infrastructure and community green spaces, promote public outreach and education, and engage students in outdoor learning activities.

“This grants cycle included some really interesting and groundbreaking projects that will not only benefit local communities, but will also engage both adults and young people alike in efforts to improve local water quality and protect our natural resources,” said Jana Davis, executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust. “We are pleased to work with our dedicated partners and grantees who are implementing exceptional projects that are improving our local neighborhoods and waterways.”

Today’s announcement of almost $1 million in grants will advance K-12 environmental education efforts; create living shorelines in Maryland; transform vacant lots in Baltimore City into green spaces; and fund neighborhood clean-ups, tree plantings and other community-based initiatives. The grants funded today include “mini grants” (grants less than $5,000); as well as grants through the Trust’s Living Shoreline grant program, Growing Green Design Competition and one of the Trust’s brand new initiatives, the Prince George’s County Rain Check Rebate Program. These grant dollars can be attributed in large part to strong partnerships with Baltimore City, the U.S. Environment Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and Prince George’s County Department of the Environment.

In addition to private and public partnerships, the Chesapeake Bay Trust’s funding comes from two other major sources: the Treasure the Chesapeake license plate program and donations the Bay Fund on the Maryland state income tax form. For every dollar the Trust receives, 90 percent is directed to support projects and programs that benefit the environment. For eleven consecutive years, the Trust has received a “Four-Star Rating” from Charity Navigator, the nation’s leading independent evaluator of non-profits organizations, placing the organization in the top 1 percent of charities nationwide.

“The Chesapeake Bay Trust carefully evaluates each and every grant request we receive to ensure the projects we fund meet our criteria: a valuable impact on improving water quality and engagement and education of the public,” continued Davis. “We take our role as fiscal manager very seriously and work hands-on with our grantees to get as many valuable projects as possible in the ground and moving forward.”

September 2014 Chesapeake Bay Trust Grant Program Awards:

Living Shorelines Grant Program: Provides grants up to $100,000 to design, implement and promote living shorelines in Maryland. Seven grants totaling $590,000 were awarded the Annapolis Maritime Museum, St. Mary’s Parish and Trinity Episcopal Church, Environmental Concern, West/Rhode Riverkeeper, Turkey Point Property Owners Association, Londontowne Property Owners Association, and Cloverlea Boat Club, LLC

Growing Green Design Competition: This new competition provided $292,350 in funding to seven partnerships between nonprofit community organizations and design firms to transform vacant lots in Baltimore City into green spaces. The selected organizations include Civic Works (two grants), Jane’s House of Inspiration, Hollins Roundhouse Association, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Real Food Farm, and Druid Heights Community Development Corporation.  The design firms participating include Baltimore Orchard, Biohabitats, Brent Figlestahler, Ecological Restoration and Management (ER&M), Floura Teeter Landscape Architects, Morgan State University, Neighborhood Design Center, Mahan Rykiel Associates, TDH Landscaping, and URS Corporation.

Mini Grants Programs: Provides grants not to exceed $5,000 that advance environmental education, promote community outreach and engagement, and advance stormwater best management practices. A total of 47 grants for $127,398 were funded though the Trust’s K-12 Environmental Education Mini Grant Program, Community and Outreach Mini Grant Program, Chesapeake Conservation Corps Mini Grant Program and Prince’s George’s County Rain Check Rebate Program with rebate awards available up to $2,000 for residential property owners.

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