Lewisburg awarded Green Development Grant for park

Friday, January 23, 2015

The City of Lewisburg recently received a grant of $23,080 which it will use as part of a comprehensive plan to improve Rock Creek Park. The City plans to remove 4,500 square feet of asphalt to create public green space. The existing parking lot will be replaced with pervious pavers to address stormwater runoff by providing a more natural infiltration of stormwater into the ground.

This is a 50-50 matching grant, said City Manager Randall Dunn, but the city can pay its portion "in kind," in other words by having the Public Works Department remove the old parking lot, prepare the site for the new one, and so forth.

The City of Lewisburg's project was one of the five innovative green infrastructure and low-impact development projects chosen to receive grants.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, in partnership with the Tennessee Stormwater Association, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the Tennessee Department of Transportation awarded $103,080 in grants to fund green infrastructure and low-impact development projects beginning March 2015.

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, TDEC deputy commissioner. "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."

Other grant recipients were

* Memphis and Shelby County Office of Sustainability -- $20,000 for multiple green infrastructure demonstration rain gardens, and a series of workshops to educate residents and homeowners about practices that can be undertaken at home to save water and treat stormwater.

* Johnson City -- $25,000 to address stormwater runoff at the Public Library, and community and school education events, workshops, and guided tours on green infrastructure.

* City of Ducktown -- $25,000 to install green infrastructure in the form of tree wells, pervious pavers and bioretention cells to improve Spruce Street's stormwater drainage while also addressing water quality with the added benefit of making the street more attractive and accessible to pedestrians.

* City of Chattanooga -- $10,000 to develop and implement a Low Impact Development model competition for students. The competition will recognize outstanding achievement in developing green infrastructure models and understanding of water quality, as it relates to these practices.

This grant cycle represents the fourth time the Green Development Grants have been offered to local governments.

"Protecting Tennessee's watersheds is part of TVA's mission of service," said Rebecca Tolene, TVA vice president, natural resources. "Working with our partners on projects like (these) is critical to safeguarding our waterways, while ensuring our communities can rely on good, clean water."

To learn more about the Green Development Grants, please visit TDEC's website at http://www.tn.gov/environment/water/green-development.shtml or the Tennessee Stormwater Association's website at www.tnstormwater.org/.