$1,361,357 is awarded to 39 Chesapeake Bay projects that will help revitalize Maryland communities and restore natural resources

The Chesapeake Bay Trust is a nonprofit grant-making organization established by the Maryland General Assembly dedicated to regenerating the natural resources of Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay 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, restorative impact on the waterways and other natural resources of the region.

Now, on February 4, 2020, the Chesapeake Bay Trust—in partnership with the City of Baltimore Department of Public Works, Charles County, the City of Gaithersburg, Harford County, Howard County, Queen Anne’s County, and the City of Salisbury—announced $1,361,357 in funding for the Trust’s Outreach and Restoration Grant Program.

These awards allow a diverse range of environmental and non-environmental organizations alike, such as faith organizations, workforce organization, neighborhood associations, and business associations, to lead projects that help revitalize communities and restore natural resources.

This round of grants demonstrates the benefits of a unique partnership between a grant-maker and multiple local governments who aim to engage and support their nonprofit communities on-the-ground through efficient administration of grant awards.

Awards were made to 39 projects rigorously reviewed by external technical experts and following widely accepted restoration best practices.

Tangier Island, Virginia (in Chesapeake Bay, so it benefits from Maryland’s restoration efforts). Photo by red12550 from Pixabay.

This unprecedented program partnership with seven different governments speaks to the importance of working together to achieve efficiencies,” said Dr. Jana Davis, executive director for the Chesapeake Bay Trust.

We are thrilled that so many dynamic projects can be supported to engage residents in natural resources projects, and that so many jurisdictions value the engagement of their local on-the-ground nonprofits, both primarily environmental as well as non-environmental, in addressing natural resource challenges,” she added.

Awardees announced will not only implement projects that include the removal of impervious surfaces, expansion of tree canopies, inclusion of bioretention and other stormwater treatment practices, and other green infrastructure practices but also develop environmental curricula as well as outreach and educational programs that can be adopted in other communities to ensure that the greater Chesapeake Bay watershed community benefits from their lead.

The Outreach and Restoration Grant Program is one of several opportunities the Chesapeake Bay Trust offers throughout the year shaped by three core objectives: environmental education, demonstration-based restoration, and community engagement. The Trust partners with municipalities and organizations to leverage investments and increase watershed improvements.

Here are the new Outreach and Restoration Program awardees:

  • Gunpowder Valley Conservancy, $75,000
    Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Stormwater Remediation Project
    Baltimore County
    For the removal of impervious surface, the installation of two micro-bioretention practices, the installation of an outdoor teaching area, and educational workshops.
  • ShoreRivers, $74,958
    Stewards for Streams: Faith Based Conservation
    Queen Anne’s County
    To engage and activate faith organizations of multiple denominations in environmental education to their congregations and environmental stewardship action.
  • Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, $74,901
    Healthy Forest Healthy Waters
    Harford County
    To educate residents, community groups, and faith-based groups about the importance of trees and forested landscapes for water quality and quality of life.
  • City Neighbors Foundation, $74,741
    City Neighbors Green Campus Implementation
    City of Baltimore
    To remove impervious surface from the City Neighbors Hamilton/High School campus and install stormwater practices and to develop experiential environmental education curricula around these practices that will be used in 3rd, 6th, and 9th-grade classes. This project will increase wildlife and pollinator habitat, reduce stormwater pollution, and will help inspire and empower the next generation of environmental leaders.
  • The Church of the Redeemer, $74,043
    Parking Lot of the Future
    Baltimore City
    To convert a 1.25-acre main parking lot into a showcase of environmental sustainability by installing 4,262 sq. ft. of bioretention practices, 2,415 sq. ft. of pervious paving, and 5,300 native plants, shrubs, and trees, and include signage, environmental lectures, and action days.
  • Lower Shore Land Trust, $72,069
    Lower Eastern Shore Invasive Species Initiative
    Wicomico County
    To develop an invasive species management model program that will be transferable to other counties, building a framework for mapping invasive species on County property and extending outreach to landowners and community groups.
  • Baltimore Tree Trust, $66,331
    Fells Point Gateway Tree Project
    Baltimore City
    To create a green corridor running parallel to Patterson Park and the waterfront, providing air quality cleaning and shading of this heavily trafficked walk/drive-through, enhancing the walkability, aesthetic, and public health outcomes of this area through green infrastructure.
  • Urban Ecosystem Restoration, Inc., $66,629
    The Lakelands Healthy Habitats Project
    City of Gaithersburg, Montgomery County
    To convert approximately 3,838 square feet of turf to conservation landscaping in the Lakelands Homeowners Association and provide educational outreach to over 400 members of the community.
  • Howard EcoWorks, $50,856
    Making Suburban Lands Working Lands
    Howard County
    For planting trees and shrubs and associated educational events to encourage homeowners to convert turf grass to more vegetated systems that provide more valuable habitat.
  • Port Tobacco River Conservancy, $51,000
    Dr. James Craik Elementary School Outdoor Classroom, Stormwater Management Enhancements, and Dumpster Maintenance Outreach
    Charles County
    For construction of an outdoor classroom and the enhancement of stormwater control best management practices.
  • Gunpowder Valley Conservancy, $50,000
    Researching How Businesses Can Be Motivated to Engage in Watershed Restoration
    Baltimore County
    To conduct social marketing research to motivate businesses to install rain gardens and microbioretention practices on their properties.
  • The Ocean Foundation, $49,979
    “For a Healthy Bay, Let Grasses Stay”
    Throughout the State of Maryland
    To expand a pilot-tested social marketing campaign in Chesapeake Bay tributaries throughout Maryland to improve recreational boating practices in the presence of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV).
  • Canton Canopy, $38,900
    Canton Canopy Tree Pit Creation Spring 2020-Fall 2021
    Baltimore City
    For the creation of tree pits, planting and maintaining of trees in the sidewalks along Fait and Linwood Avenues as well as community volunteer events.
  • Civic Works, Inc., $30,000
    Comprehensive Stormwater Training to Baltimore Residents from Historically Marginalized Communities
    Baltimore City
    To deliver comprehensive, certification-based occupational and essential skills training in stormwater management to Baltimore City residents facing significant barriers to employment. This project will engage Baltimore residents from historically marginalized communities in green infrastructure solutions for restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
  • Institute for Local Self-Reliance, $30,000
    Baltimore Neighborhood Soil Rebuilders Composter Training Program
    Baltimore City
    For support of the Baltimore Neighborhood Soil Rebuilders Composter Training program to increase the number of trained composters to successfully operate community-scale sites.
  • Patterson Park Audubon Center, $30,000
    Audubon’s Avian Ambassadors for Baltimore, Birds, and the Bay
    Baltimore City
    To train “Bird Ambassadors” to deliver 30 interactive education programs and action projects with 400 participants cultivating community leaders to teach and organize greening projects with their neighbors.
  • University System of Maryland Foundation – The Environmental Finance Center, $30,000
    Stormwater Maintenance Residential Action Framework and Outreach Campaign
    City of Gaithersburg, Montgomery County
    To increase awareness and fully engage homeowners and civic associations in the implementation and sustainability of watershed protection activities.
  • Gunpowder Riverkeeper, $30,000
    Clear Choices Clean Water
    Harford County
    For a countywide outreach campaign to curb stormwater pollution using online/print communications, social media, and events.
  • Friends of Patapsco Valley Heritage Greenway, Inc., $29,998
    Patapsco Clean Stream – Education and Stewardship Efforts in Elkridge
    Howard County
    To conduct 10 stream cleanups, 4 invasive plant removals, 2 native shrub and tree plantings, and storm drain labeling to reduce the amount of pollution and increase the native tree canopy in Elkridge.
  • Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, Inc., $29,995
    The Harris Creek Connected
    Baltimore City
    To strengthen Harris Creek Connected – a group of 50 community leaders who will lead community organizing around three large green infrastructure projects and engage hundreds of residents who learn from one another and advocate towards common goals.
  • Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, $29,943
    Best Management Practices Maintenance Project
    Howard County
    To assist in restoring stormwater and habitat best management practices to projects nearing the end of their useable life cycle as well as educate 6 to 8 congregations to ensure long-term project sustainability.
  • Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, $28,347
    Faith Outreach and Engagement
    City of Salisbury, Wicomico County
    To facilitate restoration projects, working with Lower Shore Land Trust, at congregations through a multi-session workshop. The course will foster greater understanding of local water-quality challenges.
  • Anacostia Riverkeeper, $27,819
    Microplastics Monitoring and Outreach in the Anacostia Watershed
    Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties
    For a microplastic monitoring and outreach program incorporating the training of high schoolers in 3 locations of the Anacostia watershed.
  • Howard County Conservancy, $27,816
    Countywide Pollinator Initiative through Water and Pesticide Education & Outreach
    Howard County
    To work with county partners in reducing pesticide use, encouraging native plantings, and become a certified Bee City.
  • Nanticoke Watershed Alliance, $26,695
    Enhancing Stormwater Best Management Practices for Poultry Farms in the Nanticoke Watershed for Improved Water Quality
    Dorchester County
    For an outreach campaign with poultry farmers about variations of buffer plantings as alternatives to mowed grass for improved stormwater management.
  • Alice Ferguson Foundation, $22,784
    Adopt a Stream
    Charles County
    To provide training for residents and organizations to monitor and provide detailed data on the waste entering local waterways and empower stewardship while engaging volunteers in successful cleanups.
  • Lower Shore Land Trust, $20,207
    Engaging Faith-Based Communities in Stewardship and Restoration
    City of Salisbury, Wicomico
    For support of the project “Engaging Faith-Based Communities in Stewardship and Restoration” for rain barrels, cisterns, native garden, and educational workshop supplies at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church.
  • United Workers Association (United Workers), $20,000
    Baltimore Zero Waste Plan
    Baltimore City
    To develop and disseminate a citywide Zero Waste plan in collaboration with the Baltimore Office of sustainability and Zero Waste Associates addressing the knowledge gap with workshops to “train the trainers” on recycling, composting, and re-use of materials.
  • Clean Water Fund, $19,927
    Testing Methods for Communicating Best Practices for Living on Septic
    Howard County
    To test three different methods of homeowner outreach: in-person workshops, traditional tabling activities at established events, and door-to-door canvassing. The outcome will determine most effective strategies for educating homeowners on septic and the importance of best practices.
  • Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, $15,038
    Interfaith Green Team Leadership Development
    City of Gaithersburg, Montgomery County
    To train congregations and to develop successful “Green Teams” to educate 60-100 people about watershed restoration.
  • Wicomico Environmental Trust, $15,000
    Creekwatchers Expansion
    Wicomico County
    For a water quality testing program engaging citizens, led by trained scientists, to create a broader geographic understanding of watershed water quality, improve program effectiveness, and provide access to more resources to aid in informing and engaging the public.
  • Columbia Association, $15,000
    Invasive Species and Reforestation projects
    Howard County
    For invasive species removal, native perennial plantings events, 300 tree plantings, and stream bank stake planting.
  • Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, $14,466
    Interfaith Green Team Leadership Development Project
    Harford County
    For a leadership development program to increase the impact of the faith community on Chesapeake Bay watershed improvements.
  • Nanjemoy-Potomac Environmental Coalition, Inc., $13,510
    Bag It: A Community Program to Save our Watershed
    Charles County
    For the design of a reusable bag by school students to distribute throughout the community at grocery stores and community events and present their program to governmental and non-governmental representatives.
  • Department of Natural Resources, $9,499
    Edible Understory
    Queen Anne’s County
    To plant 900 native fruit and nut producing trees and shrubs in a “walk and harvest” path at a publicly accessible location in Bloomfield Farm.
  • Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, $9,298
    Interfaith Green Team Leadership Development Project
    Baltimore City
    For a leadership development training program to increase the impact of the faith community on Chesapeake Bay Watershed improvements.
  • Wicomico Public Library, $7,853
    Eco-Literacy Story Walk
    City of Salisbury, Wicomico County
    To create a StoryWalk along the Riverwalk to increase childhood, physical, and ecological literacy and teach those who participate about native species that support pollinators.
  • Baltimore Community ToolBank, $4,500
    Expanding Environmental Education to Property Owners in Carroll-Camden Industrial Park
    Baltimore City
    To host environmental tours for local businesses/property owners, with an emphasis on large commercial building owners, to have commercial neighbors adopt stormwater management practices for large buildings in their neighborhood (and beyond) resulting in long-term environmental behavior change.
  • Stone Gate Town House Community Association, $4,255
    Community Association Water Management Training
    City of Salisbury, Wicomico County
    For workshops covering stormwater management and bay-wise gardening. The project will serve to facilitate a conversation among the Association to adopt a vision for stormwater management and identify future actions for restoration on public areas.

The Chesapeake Bay Trust is supported by the sale of the Chesapeake license plate, donations to the Chesapeake Bay and Endangered Species Fund on the Maryland State income tax form, donations from Maryland’s online boating, fishing, and hunting license system, contributions from individuals and corporations, and partnerships with private foundations and federal, state, and local governments. The Trust has received the highest rating from Charity Navigator for nearly two decades: On average, 90 percent of the Trust’s expenditures are directed to its restoration and education programs.

Featured photo of community-bases restoration in action courtesy of Chesapeake Bay Trust.

See the Chesapeake Bay Trust website.

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