Splash into savings with new grants available for green infrastructure projects. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently made $6 million in funding available to community groups, non-profits, and property owners through the 2014 Green Infrastructure Grant Program.
During the first three years of this city-wide effort to soften the impervious urban landscape, DEP committed over $11 million to 29 projects, which was matched by $5.6 million in private funds. In total, the projects will prevent about 13 million gallons of stormwater from entering the combined sewer system each year.
DEP is accepting applications in the spring and fall. Applicants also have the opportunity to review conceptual ideas with DEP engineers prior to submitting their application.
All private property owners served by combined sewers in NYC are eligible. Grant funding is provided for the design and construction of projects that will reduce or manage a minimum of 1 inch of stormwater. Up to 100% of the project’s cost could be reimbursed.
Preference is given to projects located in priority watersheds, in addition to those that provide matching funds or other contributions and include ancillary environmental and community benefits such as increased shade, decreased energy use for cooling buildings, and green jobs development.
Among projects already funded with DEP grants are a green roof at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, permeable pavers and rain gardens at Queens College, and a community garden in Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighborhood.
The move to increase funding coincides with the recent enactment of city legislation that will affect city-owned outdoor areas and could affect facility managers and owners who are in charge of building or campuses that have green roofs or landscaped areas outdoors.
Introduced as bills 75-A and 399-A, the two laws together ensure that plantings done by the Department of Parks and Recreation reflect NYC efforts to regulate stormwater and increase native biodiversity. The Parks Department will also create a stormwater retention manual and planting guide available to property owners and professional land managers.