The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation will once again partner with the Tennessee Stormwater Association, the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Tennessee Department of Transportation to offer a grant program designed to help local governments fund green infrastructure and low-impact development projects.
A total of $350,000 in grant funds will be available for allocation over the next three years. Grants ranging from $10,000 to $30,000 will be awarded to local governments 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. The grants require a 20 percent local match.
“As more local communities strive to meet their stormwater management goals through green development practices, we are pleased to be in a position to offer a funding resource to help kick start these innovative new projects,” said Environment and Conservation Deputy Commissioner Shari Meghreblian. By applying creative design and green technology, local governments can improve water quality for Tennesseans while working to achieve their stormwater management goals.
“The Tennessee Department of Transportation is committed to protecting the state’s water resources, while supporting improvements to overall infrastructure and best management practices at the local level,” said Assistant Commissioner Toks Omishakin, director of TDOT’s Environment and Planning Bureau. “Investing in the Green Development Grants program provides TDOT with the opportunity to help these local communities implement green infrastructure practices for the benefit of all citizens.”
This year’s grant cycle represents only the second time the Green Development Grants have been offered to local governments. Communities selected during the 2012 grant cycle will join the cities of Athens, Lakeland, Knoxville and Nashville, which received funding in 2008 for various projects ranging from pervious concrete parking or walking paths to green infrastructure improvements to community recreational areas.
“We are proud to offer this as an opportunity for Tennessee Stormwater Association members to build projects that establish good examples of the type of innovative stormwater management techniques we expect to be seeing in years to come,” said Tennessee Stormwater Association President Chris Granju.
“Protecting the quality of our watersheds is a shared stewardship responsibility,” said Brenda Brickhouse, TVA Vice President of Environmental Permits and Compliance. “Improving water quality after the fact is much more expensive than keeping it clean at the initial source. One key is to control and filter stormwater prior to it entering into Tennessee’s streams, rivers and reservoirs.”
Applications for the 2012 Green Development Grants are due by Sept. 30, and grant awards will be announced by Nov. 1. Grant applications will be reviewed and ranked by a team comprised of representatives from each of the partner agencies. The next offering for Green Development Grants will be available May 2013.
Online application materials and additional information about the Green Development Grants are available on TDEC’s website or through the Tennessee Stormwater Association.