Climate Preparedness and Land Restoration Initiative

The Groundwork Ohio River Valley team at work planting new trees.

The Climate Preparedness and Land Restoration initiative is a three-year effort to accelerate climate adaptation and land restoration projects across the Groundwork network. Through a competitive grant process, Groundwork Trusts are awarded funding to pursue innovative land restoration projects that will help alleviate the human impacts of the climate crisis through the creation of new green spaces, expansion of the urban tree canopy, and installation of green infrastructure. Made possible by support from the Bezos Earth Fund, we seek to implement projects that lead to tangible changes in the built environment. Project will all have a a short-term impacts on climate resilience, while laying the foundation for shifting how critical climate adaptation resources are allocated across cities.

“There is no panacea for addressing all environmental inequities. Combating climate change and building more resilient communities is going to require a multi-pronged strategy of complementary and coordinated 1% solutions, like⁠ expanding tree canopy, installing stormwater infrastructure⁠, removing pavement⁠, and creating green space. The projects included in this round of the Climate Preparedness grant provide an opportunity to see how collectively these infrastructure efforts can tip the scale towards equity.”

Cate Mingoya
National Director of Climate Resilience and Land Use

Meet The Awardees

  • Climate Justice In Action
Groundwork Bridgeport

Groundwork Bridgeport

To advance their efforts to restore access to the waterfront Sliver by the River – a former industrial site along the Pequonnock River estuary in Bridgeport – Groundwork Bridgeport will lead a community outreach and engagement campaign to collect feedback from residents about the site and ensure their priorities are at the heart of the plan to transform the 3-acre property. They will lead the way with the construction of a demonstration park along the waterfront, complete with green infrastructure designed to reduce the urban heat island effect, mitigate flooding, and improve biodiversity in the area.

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Groundwork Elizabeth

Groundwork Elizabeth

To address extreme heat and flooding in formerly redlined neighborhoods and brownfield areas, Groundwork Elizabeth will organize a team of partners and youth from the Mayor’s Youth Council program to survey and cultivate four micro forest sites. Using the Miyawaki method of restoring forests by densely planting native tree seeds on deforested, degraded soils, the microforests will improve soil permeability, mitigate flooding, improve air quality and reduce extreme heat.

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Groundwork Hudson Valley

Groundwork Hudson Valley

Groundwork Hudson Valley will lead efforts to retrofit ten subsidized housing developments in Yonkers with green infrastructure. They will be planting large canopy shade trees, improving and relocating public space amenities to address extreme heat, installing stormwater bioretention systems, and creating rain gardens. They will be collaborating with the Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers and Westhab, a local affordable housing nonprofit organization, as well as training Green Team youth to carry out this project.

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Groundwork New Orleans

Groundwork New Orleans

To create a new stormwater system to address flooding challenges along Touro Street, Groundwork New Orleans will plant 36 mature trees and install 36 bioswales to improve water management and reduce the heat island effect. They will also install the Solar Powered Eco Bench, which collects local weather conditions and uses pervious pavement and vegetation to capture 68,500 gallons of stormwater and filter out water contaminants.

Additionally, Groundwork New Orleans will complete phase two of their Claiborne Ave project. They will will focus on activating the space through the installation of additional stormwater features, public seating to create gathering spaces, and additional fencing and signage to increase the sense of place and safety.

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Groundwork Ohio River Valley

Groundwork Ohio River Valley

Groundwork Ohio River Valley will work with their Green Team youth and Green Workforce employees to establish Cincinnati’s first Ecodistrict in Lower Price Hill – a district designated for a concentration of both large-scale land revitalization and green infrastructure projects to address flooding, urban heat, and air pollution challenges. This initial docket of projects will include an 8,500 square foot green roof on a Cincinnati Public Schools facility and the extension of the Mill Creek Corridor, a mixed-use trail connecting Lower Price Hill to the local active transportation network. In collaboration with the Cincinnati City government, they will also plant street trees in areas identified as high-impact to double tree canopy coverage by 2024.

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Groundwork Rhode Island

Groundwork Rhode Island

Groundwork Rhode Island will leverage tree planting and composting efforts to mitigate the impacts of contaminated soil, extreme heat, and flooding in several former industrial cities across the state. They will create new jobs for residents through their GroundCorp landscape and Harvest Cycle compost teams and plant 2,400 trees, install 16 green stormwater infrastructure features, remove 30,000 square feet of pavement, and divert 750,000 pounds of food waste (a fivefold increase) to create 1,500 cubic yards of finished compost.

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Groundwork San Diego

Groundwork San Diego

Groundwork San Diego will transform a parking lot adjacent to the Chollas Creek into a public green space with bioswales and native landscaping in one of San Diego’s most park-poor neighborhoods. The park will provide a trailhead for a future trail that will connect the Eastern Area and City Heights neighborhoods with the San Diego Bay and include green infrastructure to mitigate the effects of urban heat and flooding in the area.

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Groundwork Southcoast

Groundwork Southcoast

Groundwork Southcoast will implement their green infrastructure plan for the Riverside Resilience Zone – an area that is disproportionately impacted by adverse climate and public health challenges. Through this program, they will train Green Team youth to carry out the public engagement strategy and complete infrastructure projects including tree planting, installing a stormwater garden with native vegetation, and rebuilding the riverbank to transform Riverside Park into a climate-resilient waterfront escape for community members.

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