$3.8 Million in Grants Approved June 2016

$3.8 Million in Grants Approved June 2016

Green Stormwater infrastructure (GSI) manages stormwater and provides other community benefits. Grants will:

  • transform Chandler Park to demonstrate how stormwater management can beautify and complement recreation and other traditional park activities
  • expand a program that employs Detroit students to construct park trails and restore the natural environment in Rouge Park
  • provide a seventh year of support for the Lower Eastside Action Plan (LEAP), where early results include the Green T, Green District, Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and other resident-driven efforts to productively repurpose and beautify open space
  • design an interactive city-wide GSI database through a cross-sector public-private partnership
  • develop a technology transfer program to help municipalities adopt GSI throughout the binational Great Lakes basin

GSI uses trees, plants and natural solutions to soak up stormwater where it falls to keep it from the sewer system which, when overloaded, discharges sewage into our rivers and streams. Using trees and plants help beautify the area, clean the air, and provide landscaping jobs, while saving money where green can substitute for more costly grey infrastructure (human engineered solutions that involve concrete, steel and the like). Click here to learn more.

Additional grants will promote environmental (public) health and equitable development in the city of Detroit through:

  • a new collaboration to strengthen the network of place-based community development organizations (CDOs) that are foundational elements for sustainable (triple bottom line), city-wide community and economic development;
  • expanding Small Batch Detroit, a “people-planet-profit” food business designed and run by high school students;
  • incorporating triple-bottom line concepts into the Motor City Match program which pairs local businesses and property owners.

A new Transformational Arts grant will help transform the Arts League of Michigan (Carr Center) into a vibrant, financially sustainable, African-American led anchor arts organization (see Free Press article here), and support and document the Heidelberg Project’s transition into its next phase.

Other grant highlights for the year include:

  • Green Stormwater Infrastructure projects at: O’Shea Park, the Fort Street Bridge Park and Interpretive Site in southwest Detroit, throughout Detroit neighborhoods through three small grant/technical assistance programs (Rain Gardens to the Rescue, Detroit Future City’s Field Guide and Michigan Community Resources), along the Clinton & Huron Rivers through the WaterTowns and RiverUp! initiatives, and in the Royal Oak Center Street Parklet
  • A focus on the Lake Erie watershed, including the Detroit and Rouge rivers: a Phosphorus Reduction Tracking System for Western Lake Erie as part of a larger Blue Accounting platform, translational research by the University of Michigan Water Center measuring the social and ecological impacts of neighborhood-based green infrastructure installed on vacant lots in Detroit and the proportional impact of the Detroit River system on toxic algae in western Lake Erie (click here for a press release and video by UM)
  • Triple bottom line development: Sponsoring three Detroit Revitalization Fellows to focus on sustainability, and creating the I-APEEAL collaboration between Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation, UM, the Detroit Environmental Agenda and others to address social and health effects of pollution in southwest Detroit
  • Community-based art projects in: Highland Park, the International Wildlife Refuge Center, Stoepel Park, five Detroit neighborhoods as part of the C+PAD project that incorporates GI and art (LEAP, Cody Rouge, Brightmoor, Jefferson East, North End), and a new pocket park at the intersection of Martin Luther King & Rosa Parks in Detroit
  • Leading Alzheimer’s research worldwide: through the Alzheimer’s Association’s Zenith and New Investigative Research peer reviewed grants programs
  • Ongoing support for several arts, environmental and special opportunities, including 39 Anchor Arts organizations and the Foundation For Detroit’s Future (the “Grand Bargain”)

Please click here for the complete grants list and here for a list of all grants approved this past year.