Seven projects in Michigan receive $2.9 million to restore ecosystems, boosting quality of life and resilience in communities

On March 09, 2022, the Southeast Michigan Resilience Fund partners announced $1.6 million in grant funding to seven projects that will help revitalize communities and restore wildlife habitats in southeast Michigan.

These grants, awarded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), will leverage $1.3 million in matching contributions to generate a total conservation impact of more than $2.9 million.

The Southeast Michigan Resilience Fund partners are committed to investing in projects that improve water quality and wildlife habitat while at the same time enhancing community resiliency and regional conservation goals,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “The seven projects awarded today meet those goals and will benefit local communities and improve diverse habitats across the region.”

These investments will strengthen regional resilience and improve water quality for communities by installing green infrastructure, increasing urban tree canopy and restoring prairie and floodplain habitat.

The projects selected for funding will provide critical habitat for wildlife such as monarch butterflies and migratory birds, while also creating and enhancing public access.

Collaborative efforts like this maximize our impact on water quality, wildlife and the community at large,” said Neil Hawkins, president of the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation. “When we invest in and strengthen the Great Lakes ecosystem, we improve quality of life in our communities.”

The projects supported by these grants will:

  • Add 4.8 million gallons of stormwater storage;
  • Plant more than 940 trees for increased stormwater storage and habitat;
  • Restore 24 acres through invasive species control;
  • Help restore the quality and connectivity of the region’s unique habitats; and
  • Improve quality of life by increasing public access to natural areas and parks through eight new access points.

Eight corporate, foundation and government funding partners have joined NFWF to support the Southeast Michigan Resilience Fund:

  • Bezos Earth Fund
  • Cleveland-Cliffs
  • Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation
  • The Kresge Foundation
  • The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • The U.S. Forest Service

Southeast Michigan Resilience Fund 2022 grant recipients include:

  • Wildlife Habitat Council, to install green infrastructure in alleys and recreational areas and create pollinator habitat within neighborhoods adjacent to the I-94 Industrial Corridor in Detroit;
  • Charter Township of Van Buren, to restore reclaimed prairie wildlife habitat by removing invasive species, promoting growth of prairie plants and establishing a detailed management plan in Riggs Heritage Park in Wayne County;
  • The Greening of Detroit, to engage hundreds of community volunteers to plant more than 300 new trees in several parks in Southwest Detroit
    Rescue MI Nature Now, to transform neighborhood blight into an approximately 2-acre, accessible therapeutic forest through a participatory planning design and construction process and provide a hands-on learning component for grade-school students;
  • Washtenaw County, to increase green infrastructure in Ypsilanti Township by building rain gardens, wild prairie pollinator gardens and planting trees in community spaces;
  • Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, to transform a 6-acre city block into a stormwater park by creating bioretention cells, planting trees, and integrating amenities such as trails and recreational space to promote neighborhood stabilization; and
  • Friends of the Rouge, to engage residents in community-led rain garden design, installation and maintenance workshops for residential neighborhoods in Wayne County to capture stormwater runoff.

The Southeast Michigan Resilience Fund continues to exemplify the strength of public-private partnerships,” said Chris Korleski, director for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes National Program Office. “Leveraging Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funds to invest in Southeast Michigan communities, and especially historically underrepresented and underserved communities, delivers on-the-ground projects where they make a difference.”

Since 2018, the Southeast Michigan Resilience Fund has awarded 28 grants totaling more than $6.1 million, leveraging an additional $7 million in matching contributions to generate a total conservation investment of more than $13.1 million.

Photo of Riggs Heritage Park via Wade Trim / McKenna and Associates.

Learn more about the Southeast Michigan Resilience Fund.

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