Press Release From TDEC, Oct. 15, 2013;
Nashville – The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, in partnership with the Tennessee Stormwater Association, the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Tennessee Department of Transportation, today awarded $85,000 to four local governments to fund green infrastructure and low-impact development projects beginning January 2014.
The Green Development Grant Program provides funding through a competitive process for projects such as rain gardens, green roofs, pervious concrete applications, trees and tree boxes, in addition to outreach and education efforts designed to promote green development in Tennessee communities.
“By applying creative design and green technology, these five local governments can improve water quality for Tennesseans, while working to achieve their stormwater management goals,” Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Deputy Commissioner Dr. Shari Meghreblian said. “TDOT, TVA and the Tennessee Stormwater Association are committed to protecting the state’s water resources and TDEC joins these agencies in their efforts to support infrastructure improvements and to share best management practices at the local level.”
The 2012 Green Development Grant recipients announced today include:
• Town of Farragut: $19,300 – Farragut’s project consists of an above-ground artistic rainwater harvesting component (Cistern) which is a component of the Town of Farragut’s larger Outdoor Classroom and Water Quality Demonstration Site. This is an ambitious project combining a variety of demonstration elements as well as community space for civic engagement and citizen interaction with the many resources that nature provides. Green Development Funds will be used for the installation of the system, interpretive signage and a mural.
• University of Tennessee: $21,900 – Coupling student-led rain garden projects on the “urbanized” east campus with constructed stormwater wetlands at UT Gardens along the banks of the Upper Tennessee River to decrease stormwater runoff and pollution, increase awareness and support ongoing educational programs.
• City of Morristown: $21,900 – The city, along with multiple committed private partners, is redeveloping the downtown farmer’s market including removing 5,000 square feet of existing impervious parking lot and replacing it with a community green space. This space will include expansive lawns, a wide landscape buffer and construction of a new 400-foot long porous walkway. The city is committed to a long term environmentally conscious revitalization project that includes a detailed and ongoing publicity campaign via print and electronic media as well as signage and tours to promote green development.
• Memphis and Shelby County Sustainability Office: $21,900 – This sustainability office, along with a multitude of committed public and private partners, is developing a Low Impact Development (LID)/Green Infrastructure workshop and design competition. LID/Green Infrastructure techniques treat stormwater on site using bioswales, greenroofs, cisterns, bioretention facilities and porous pavement. The workshop will be offered in the spring of 2014 in conjunction with TDEC’s workshop on the new Green Infrastructure permit requirements. The audience will be developers, designers, municipality stormwater decision makers and others from the general public.
This year’s grant cycle represents the third time the Green Development grants have been offered to local governments. The four grant awards announced today join efforts in the cities of Athens, Chattanooga, Lakeland, Memphis, Knoxville, Nashville and the Southeast Tennessee Development District which were part of the 2008 and 2012 funding initiatives for projects ranging from pervious concrete parking or walking paths to green infrastructure improvements to a Green Development Excellence Award Program.
“TVA appreciates the efforts put forth by these communities to protect and improve water quality,” TVA Vice President of Natural Resources’ Rebecca Tolene said. “Addressing stormwater runoff is an important component for making our streams healthier and more inviting to the public.
A total of $85,000 will be available in grant funds for allocation again next year, with grants ranging from $10,000 to $30,000. The grants require a 20 percent local match. Applications for the next round of Green Development Grants are due by August 15, 2014, and grant awards will be announced in October 2014. Grant applications will be reviewed and ranked by a team comprised of representatives from each of the partner agencies.
“These grants support the efforts by our local partners to advance green infrastructure across the state,” Assistant Commissioner Toks Omishakin, Chief of TDOT’s Environment and Planning Bureau, said. “I’m pleased the state can invest in projects that protect Tennessee’s natural resources and benefit the environment.”
To learn more about the Green Development Grants or to view online application materials, please visit TDEC’s website at http://www.tn.gov/environment/water/green-development.shtml or the Tennessee Stormwater Association’s website at www.tnstormwater.org/.