The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection and the Chesapeake Bay Trust announced that $291,000 in grant funding has been awarded to seven organizations to improve water quality and help manage stormwater runoff in Montgomery County. Neighborhood groups, faith-based organizations, and nonprofit organizations received support ranging from $6,000 to $77,000.
“The Department of Environmental Protection is committed to improving the water quality of our local streams while contributing to the health and sustainability of our communities,” said Patty Bubar, acting Director of the Department of Environmental Protection. “This grant program fills an important niche towards meeting our mission and we’re thrilled to be able to support and engage these hard-working local groups who share this mission.”
Established in 2014, the initiative supports projects and programs that improve communities and water quality in Montgomery County through public engagement, education, and on-the-ground restoration projects.
Project types include public outreach and stewardship projects, such as volunteer-led stream cleanups, stormwater education workshops, environmental education projects and community-based restoration projects, such as rain gardens, rain barrels, tree planting, impervious pavement removal, conservation landscaping, and green roofs.
Funding for these projects is made possible through the County’s Water Quality Protection Charge. The Chesapeake Bay Trust, a regional grant-maker specializing in engagement of not-for-profit entities in restoration and outreach work, administers the grants for Montgomery County, similar to programs it manages for seven other jurisdictions.
“These programs are so important to provide residents and nonprofit groups the tools, resources, and power to be part of the solution and feel like they are improving their communities,” said Jana Davis, executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust. “Completing one’s first project as a nonprofit creates the capacity to do so much more and we’re proud of how many of these groups have grown and become strong grantees in other programs.”
Anacostia Riverkeeper, $14,644: To engage Montgomery County Spanish-speaking populations in programs to improve water quality.
Anacostia Riverkeeper, $58,350: For rain gardens and conservation landscape plantings at the Sandy Spring Friends Meeting House.
Audubon Naturalist Society of the Central Atlantic States, Inc., $53,417: For a rain garden at Woodend Nature Sanctuary in Chevy Chase.
Butler Montessori, $58,275: To remove 3,000 square feet of impervious surface and install permeable pavers at Butler Montessori School in Darnestown.
Friends of Sligo Creek, $22,650: For an engineering study, conservation landscaping, dry wells, and engagement of volunteers in the Three Oaks community in Silver Spring.
University of Maryland, Environmental Finance Center, $77,096: To engage county Civic Associations in watershed restoration activities and to hold a stormwater summit in Montgomery County.
Wildlife Habitat Council, $6,568: To engage corporations in the implementation of stormwater and habitat best management practices such as rain gardens, bioretention cells, conservation landscaping, water recapture, and other practices on corporation-owned land.
The Chesapeake Bay Trust (www.cbtrust.org) is a nonprofit grant-making organization established by the Maryland General Assembly dedicated to improving the natural resources of Maryland and the Chesapeake region through environmental education, community engagement, and local watershed restoration. The Trust’s grantees engage hundreds of thousands of individuals annually in projects that have a measurable impact on the waterways and other natural resources of the region. The Trust is supported by the sale of the Treasure the Chesapeake license plate, donations to the Chesapeake Bay and Endangered Species Fund on the Maryland State income tax form, donations from individuals and corporations, and partnerships with private foundations and federal, state, and local governments such as Montgomery County. The Trust has received the highest rating from Charity Navigator for fourteen years: 92 percent of the Trust’s expenditures are directed to its restoration and education programs.
The mission of the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection is to enhance the quality of life in our community by protecting and improving Montgomery County’s air, water, and land in a sustainable way while fostering smart growth, a thriving economy, and healthy communities.