Earlier this month, the Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) and the Chesapeake Bay Trust announce funding awards for seven projects that beautify and green communities, as well as improve stormwater quality while reducing the volume of polluted runoff. Current award winners include faith-based organizations, an environmental non-profit organization, and a community non-profit organization.
This partnership between Baltimore City and the Chesapeake Bay Trust offers true leveraging of funds. Of the $228,088 awarded today for projects in Baltimore City, $123,000 is provided by Baltimore City through the Stormwater Fee and $105,088 is provided by the Chesapeake Bay Trust predominantly through the Treasure the Chesapeake license plate program and Chesapeake and Endangered Species Fund donation line on the Maryland state income tax form. Through unique funding collaboratives such as this, both entities can maximize outcomes for each dollar invested.
The shared goals of both organizations are to support projects that improve the quality of life in Baltimore City while connecting Baltimore City residents to the outdoors, natural spaces, and natural resources and improving the water quality of local streams, rivers, and the Baltimore Harbor. Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said, “I am always pleased to see the City working with our partners in the non-profit and faith communities to make Baltimore healthier, cleaner, and stronger. These grants show how our stormwater program is working in our communities, providing lasting benefits for our citizens and our environment.”
“We are so happy to have developed this funding partnership with Baltimore City,” said Dr. Jana Davis, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust. “When two groups with resources can come together and collaborate, it improves the access of funding for non-profit organizations. In this case, the Trust can combine its goal of getting kids and adults outside and enjoying nature with the City’s goal to measurably improve our community’s natural resources.”
The following seven Baltimore City projects were supported in the last round of funding:
Baltimore Tree Trust; $74,737: for a community-based effort to plant street trees within the Berea neighborhood of the Harris Creek Watershed area of east Baltimore City. The restoration portion will result in 100 trees lining neighborhood streets, all planted by volunteers led by Baltimore Tree Trust (BTT) staff. Post-planting, BTT will water the trees and work with the community on additional tree care related activities such as mulching and pruning.
Civic Works, Inc.; $30,000: for workforce training for green infrastructure installation and maintenance. The training will combine classroom instruction with hands-on practicum, and on-the-job training on real worksites. This outreach project will engage Baltimore residents from underserved communities in green infrastructure solutions for restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Secondarily, this project will empower residents to assume a leadership role in reducing water pollution and environmental injustices within their communities.
The Episcopal Church of the Holy Covenant; $54,444: for the installation of two rain gardens on the church property. The rain gardens will collect runoff and will serve as a tool to educate the congregation and members of the neighboring community.
Friends of Herring Run Park; $24,475: to engage park users in decreasing litter in Herring Run Parks by at least 20%, preventing litter from traversing to the Chesapeake Bay.
Govans Presbyterian Church; $68,907: for the installation of the first of 3 planned stormwater management practices on the church property. The bio-retention system is to be installed at the site of a primary storm drain to help manage the volume of runoff.
National Aquarium; $17,020: to improve environmental conditions through an education, outreach and stewardship driven litter reduction program by providing meaningful and relatable community engagement and hands-on educational opportunities.
Patterson Park Audubon Center; $30,000: to grow the Bird Ambassadors initiative, which motivates Baltimore’s Latino neighbors, through their connection to migratory birds and shared travel routes, to take local conservation action.