Nine communities get green' street grants
$200K awarded for projects to improve water quality
Nine Prince George's County communities are getting a funding boost for projects intended to protect the environment and create jobs.
About $200,000 will be spread among projects in University Park, Mount Rainier, Hyattsville, College Park, Bladensburg, Edmonston, Colmar Manor, Cottage City and Capitol Heights.
The first-ever Green Streets-Green Jobs grants, funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Chesapeake Bay Trust, were announced Friday in Silver Spring. The grants will go to design and planning work for environmentally sound infrastructure projects, such as streets that reduce polluted storm runoff using rain gardens and permeable pavement, that encourage pedestrian and bicycle use.
The trust, which is administering the grants, hopes to award funds annually, said Molly Alton Mullins, director of communications and development.The initiative is cosponored by the Maryland Department of the Environment and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
"Green streets are great centerpiece projects that bring communities together and raise citizens awareness [of environmental issues]," said Allen Hance, the Trust's executive director.
Not only can these streets reduce the pollution that flows into the Anacostia River and Chesapeake Bay, but they will potentially make neighborhoods more attractive and stimulate the economy, Hance said.
"Our assumption is that green streets are going to improve property values ... [and] attract business," Hance said. "Those are ideas that we want to test."
Hyattsville received $35,000 for conceptual design for improvements to the University Hills area, annexed by the city in 2006. Mayor William Gardiner said improvements are likely to include sidewalks on streets that currently don't have them.
"There are opportunities to make the streets more pedestrian-friendly and make the stormwater runoff greener [and] better," Gardiner said.
Bladensburg received $15,000 to fund analysis and design of potential improvements in all four Port Towns, which include Edmonston, Colmar Manor and Cottage City.
"Our goal is to have a green street in each of the Port Towns," said Mayor Walter James.
Edmonston was the first to complete such a project. An improved Decatur Street, which was funded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act and now includes rain gardens and LED streetlights, was dedicated in November.
Green Street-Green Jobs grant recipients in Prince George's
Purpose: Rain garden at intersection of Route 1 and Queen's Chapel Road
Purpose: Identifying surfaces for improvement in Four Port Towns
Purpose: Green street designs for Lackawanna Street and Rhode Island Avenue
Purpose: Green street designs for University Hills Neighborhood
Purpose: Rain garden portion of green street designs for Buchanan Street
Low Impact Design Center Inc.
Purpose: Planning and design for green street in Capitol Heights
Purpose: Financial planning for Bladensburg green street project