Agencies Announce $127,500 in Green Development Grants

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 | 04:00 pm

Five Innovative Green Infrastructure and Low-Impact Development Projects Chosen

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 $127,500 to five local governments to fund green infrastructure and low-impact development projects beginning January 2013.

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,” said Dr. Shari Meghreblian, deputy commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.  “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 are:

City of Memphis ($25,180): In partnership with Memphis City Schools, the Memphis and Shelby County Offices of Sustainability and the Memphis Botanic Gardens will design and install rain gardens for three schools, in addition to developing the associated educational curriculum materials.

City of Knoxville ($28,080): The city of Knoxville’s project will include a stormwater infrastructure retrofit, separating the stormwater program from the city’s sanitary sewer system; the creation of a rain garden/bio-infiltration planter; the installation of pollution control catch basins; and incorporating a system storage effort that allows infiltration into ground water.

City of Chattanooga ($28,080): The city of Chattanooga’s Low-Impact Development Excellence Award program will recognize outstanding achievement of land development/re-development projects that meet or exceed regulatory requirements through innovative green infrastructure technologies.

City of Athens ($28,080): The city of Athens’ Green Streets Initiative is a collaborative effort with the Tennessee Public Works Institute and Tennessee Transportation Assistant Program to apply both traditional and experimental cleaning technologies to local roads, trails and parking lots.  The initiative also monitors the environmental benefits of creating a Green Perpetual Pavement Program. Additionally, a portion of the funding will help purchase a spray/squeegee machine to maintain cleaner roads.  Athens officials plan to share both the equipment and technology with other cities and counties across the state. 

Southeast Tennessee Development District ($18,080): The Southeast Tennessee Development District will partner with 15 municipalities and five counties in Southeast Tennessee to study and develop amendments to land use regulations to improve stormwater run-off quality. The project will involve both outreach and education efforts, including efforts to promote stormwater planning for rural communities in the 10-county region of Southeast Tennessee.

This year’s grant cycle represents only the second time the Green Development Grants have been offered to local governments.  The five grant awards announced today join efforts in the cities of Athens, Lakeland, Knoxville and Nashville, which were part of the 2008 funding initiative for projects ranging from pervious concrete parking or walking paths to green infrastructure improvements to community recreational areas.

“By sharing and implementing innovative approaches to managing stormwater and runoff, we keep Tennessee’s streams, rivers and reservoirs cleaner for all of us,” said Brenda Brickhouse, TVA Vice President of Environmental Permits and Compliance. “We all share a stewardship role in taking care of the waters that sustain our communities, provide us recreation opportunities and attract visitors to the state.”

A total of $350,000 is available in grant funds for allocation over the next three years, 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 May 31, 2013, and grant awards will be announced in July 2013. Grant applications will be reviewed and ranked by a team comprised of representatives from each of the partner agencies.

To learn more about the Green Development Grants or to view online application materials, please visit TDEC’s website at www.tn.gov/environment/greendev/ or the Tennessee Stormwater Association’s website at www.tnstormwater.org/.

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