Three Groundwork Trusts—Groundwork Buffalo, Groundwork New Orleans, and Groundwork Somerville—are recipients or project partners on recently announced National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) grants to restore wildlife habitat and urban waters in 27 states and the District of Columbia. The 65 grants, totaling $2.5 million, were awarded through NFWF’s Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program to support projects that develop community stewardship of natural resources and address water quality issues in priority watersheds across the country. Grantees have committed an additional $5.2 million in local project support, generating a total conservation investment of more than $7.6 million.
The 2017 grant winners were selected from a highly competitive pool of more than 250 applications. The projects that earned grant awards involve a high level of partnership between local government agencies, elected officials, community groups, businesses, schools, and environmental organizations. A full list of 2017 projects is available here.
In New York, Groundwork Buffalo is partnering with the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge to engage youth in learning about native habitats, water systems, and waterway connectivity, while working on habitat restoration projects such as invasive species removal, water culvert assessments, and a half-acre stormwater management and beautification demonstration project. Working with Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor, Friends of Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, Great Lakes Experience, and other project partners, Groundwork Buffalo will engage urban conservationists in revitalizing parts of Buffalo within Willert Park and a portion of the adjacent Central Business District.
In Louisiana, Groundwork New Orleans will implement rain garden projects in underserved New Orleans neighborhoods by installing four rain gardens, planting 100 trees and native vegetation, and identifying and implementing other best management practices to mitigate flooding in communities. Additionally, the program will implement a trash and litter prevention campaign and provide youth with hands-on green infrastructure skills and job training and mentorship opportunities. Project partners include Global Green, Batture, LLC, GAEA Consultants, the Network for Economic Opportunity, and others.
In Massachusetts, the Mystic River Watershed Association (MWRA) has been awarded a NFWF grant to organize a comprehensive tree planting and maintenance project to increase tree planting, mitigate stormwater runoff, and improve habitat in Somerville. Along with project partners Groundwork Somerville, East Somerville Main Streets, the City of Somerville, Somerville Climate Action, Partners Healthcare, and The Nature Conservancy, MWRA will involve 160 community members in planning for tree plantings and apply GIS and other analytical tools to identify sites that promise the best results in energy reduction, stormwater benefit, and habitat improvement. Through this partnership the Groundwork Somerville Green Team will participate in several invasive species removal events, as well as provide support for activities to map the extent of invasive species in Somerville.