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Community Stormwater Solutions Grants

RiverSmart Projects

The Community Stormwater Solutions Grant Program provides funding for innovative and community-centered improving community-centered projects to improve our waterways in the District. Another goal is to create new community partners and strengthen existing relationships with community-based organizations and small businesses. This program supports community-oriented and inspired projects designed to increase knowledge and lead to behavior change as it relates to watershed and stormwater-related issues. Since 2016, DOEE has awarded 69 grants totaling $1,401,968. The program is currently administered through a partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Trust (Trust).

Project areas include environmental justice, environmental education, green infrastructure, green jobs, habitat restoration, litter and pollution reduction, and out-of-school time programming. Applicants are encouraged to think outside of the box and create projects that involve creativity as a viable tool for affecting change and establishing or deepening participants’ connection to the environment. All projects should be inspired and led or supported by the priority community within the District.

Email Updates

To receive updates about grants and other funding opportunities please enter your contact information below:

Program Contacts:

Department of Energy and Environment
Kara Pennino    |    202-734-8738 
[email protected]

Chesapeake Bay Trust
Kacey Wetzel   |   410-974-2941 x104
[email protected]

2021 Community Stormwater Solutions Grantees

12 grants totaling $342,339

After-School All-Stars: Let's own our community! ($30,000)

As a leading Out-of-School-Time (OST) organization in the District and a community partner for the most disadvantaged sections of the city, After-School All-Stars will engage students, parents, and the broader community in personally and ecologically healthy practices that speak to their values and foster stewardship of the District’s waterways. Modeled after their successful, evidence-based STEM + Arts programming, After-School All-Stars will give thirty middle school students a chance to combine scientific inquiry with self-expression, socio-emotional learning, and historical research into their local environment. Through a visual arts project and poetry/spoken word performance students will educate other members of the community on the challenges facing local waterways, efforts underway to improve water health, and how the entire community can be involved.

Casey Trees: Langdon Park Recreation Center ($24,339)

Casey Trees is proposing year-long project of tree care, renewal of green infrastructure, and construction of a community forest trail at Langdon Park Recreation Center. The project aims to engage community members with the existing forest space of the park through a series of volunteer opportunities focused on maintaining and enhancing the existing trees and other green infrastructure. Additionally, the project will connect the community with their park and the benefits that these trees and other green infrastructure provide including stormwater runoff mitigation, reduced surrounding temperatures, and increased air quality through the proposed community forest trail. Casey Trees will complete this project utilizing twenty years of experience restoring, enhancing, and protecting the tree canopy of the District in a way that is focused on community engagement and rooted in equity.

Constituent Services Worldwide Public Benefit Corporation: Green Infrastructure Environmentalist Apprenticeship Program ($30,000)

The District government has been at the forefront of the Green Infrastructure movement with many of the authors of the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program hailing from the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) Center for Agriculture Urban Sustainability and Environmental Science (CAUSES) Department. The District can seize the opportunity to create the first registered Green Infrastructure Apprenticeship Program in the United States. Constituent Services Worldwide Public Benefit Corporation is proposing a proof of concept pre-apprenticeship program for the creation of the first formal Green Infrastructure Environmentalist apprenticeship.

Designgreen LLC: RiverSmart Rooftops: Expanding Maintenance Capabilities and Inclusion ($30,000)

Green Roofs are a dominate Green Infrastructure technology in the District. The popular RiverSmart Rooftops program has installed about ten green roofs annually for the past fourteen years. The maintenance of most are unknown. Additionally, the Latino Landscape community is underrepresented in this growing share of sustainable job market. Designgreen partners with Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Counsel – Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professionals and ecoLatinos to address these two shortfalls. Together the trio conducts market research, convenes focus groups to understand needs and communicate opportunities. This data is used to collectively shape a culturally aware Green Roof Maintenance training curriculum, train instructors and pilot a training session on a RiverSmart Rooftop and revise curriculum based on training outcomes.

Designgreen LLC: Takoma Community Collaborative: Implementing Resident Action Plan ($30,000)

Designgreen partnered with the Takoma Community Collaborative to implement the residential action plan an outcome of a series of community-based design charrettes to a long-term persistent flood issue. The flooding directly affects a block of single-family homes, a faith-based anchor institution, and an apartment building. The team worked collectively through a 2020 CSS grant to reach a consensus design and included local students in the process. This effort produced a Green Infrastructure Residential Action plan. The Collective is applying for implementation funds.

Flywheel Development LLC: Fairfax Village Hill Restoration ($23,881)

The Fairfax Village Condominium Community, located in Ward 7, spans 36 acres and consists of 926 residential units and approximately 1,600 residents. The project will involve the creation of consensus-based design drawings to divert and capture stormwater runoff and stabilize a deteriorating slope on the property. The project will involve a community-based process to engage the Fairfax Village residents and design professionals to co-create solutions to this long-standing stormwater erosion problem within the community. The work completed as part of this project will prepare the community to install stormwater remediation measures in a Phase 2 of the project.

Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens: WELLderness: Rediscover Your Backyard Oasis ($18,000)

Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens proposes implementing WELLderness, a year long, multi-faceted outdoor wellness series in the “wilderness” of the Gardens that encourages residents from the surrounding community to utilize this unique setting as the much-needed refuge it is. WELLderness will provide tailored wellness and stewardship projects designed to increase residents’ connection to the park, while improving both the watershed/park and personal health. Activities will include yoga in the park; meditative walks through the Gardens; boating excursions on the Anacostia River; art classes with local artists, using the park as a backdrop, and family volunteer events which deepen their understanding of the watershed.

Living Classrooms Foundation of the National Capital Region: Kingman Explorers ($29,997)

The Kingman Explorers program will bring ~250 under-represented, primarily BIPOC children, caregivers, and youth groups from communities east of the Anacostia River to Kingman and Heritage Islands for free inclusive and equitable out-of-school time (OST) environmental programming that immerses participants in their local urban green space. Programming will engage participants in informal watershed education that cultivates appreciation for the Anacostia and its native flora and fauna and encourages lifelong environmental stewardship. Educators will empower caregivers and youth group leaders to guide children through hands-on exploration and will provide tools and background information.

National Wildlife Federation: Sacred Grounds: Engaging the Hillcrest Community in Caring for Creation in the Anacostia Watershed Phase 2 ($35,000)

In phase 2, the National Wildlife Federation will apply lessons learned to three additional Ward 7 congregations including educational and restoration activities on congregation grounds and their members’ homes. The restoration activities include giving away native plants to 200+ homes and planting native plant gardens on two more congregation grounds. The educational activities will focus on the role of native plant landscaping to help people and wildlife, a community-wide garden tour, church-based and community wide learning activities. Importantly, the National Wildlife Federation will now have four congregations acting as a cohort of ambassadors increasing their effectiveness significantly within this Hillcrest community right alongside the Anacostia River.

Near Southeast Community Partners: 2021 Lluvia Verde: Green Career Recruitment and Training for DC Latinos ($30,000)

Near Southeast (Capital) Community Partners and ecoLatinos will conduct outreach and recruitment activities to introduce entry level participation of the District’s Latinos residents in workforce training on stormwater solutions and career pathways. Through targeted outreach, we will recruit up to 30 Spanish speaking students (age 17 and above) and provide training about stormwater solutions supported by the District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment’s RiverSmart Homes program. Participants in this program will have an early career introduction to best management practices that will provide a pathway to green jobs focused on stormwater solutions.

The Green Scheme: Ward 8 Water Watchers Returns! ($29,122)

The grant will enable The Green Scheme to build on lessons learned and offer an expanded series of events, further engaging and empowering the community. To be held near Oxon Run and with expected attendance of 210 people, the events will include nature walks, water quality monitoring, an Anacostia River boat ride, litter pick-up, harvesting healthy produce, nature-focused art, and a final celebration to commit to staying a Ward 8 Water Watcher (W8WW). The Green Scheme will also create a curriculum/guidebook and train 3-5 community leaders as W8WW ambassadors who can conduct the activities in the future.

Washington Area Bicyclist Association: DC Youth Watershed Explorers ($22,000)

The DC Youth Watershed Explorers project will provide youth with opportunities to learn about the historical, recreational, and ecological aspects of our waterways, learn about the impact of community actions, and gain tools to explore and care for their watershed. Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) will engage 150 youth and 60 family members during the fall and spring of the 2021-2022 school year. All events will be free of charge, provide loaner bicycles and helmets, and will prioritize low-income households. WABA’s one-day and week-long bicycle explorer camps will coincide with DC Public School and Public Charter School breaks and staff development days, engaging youth in out of school time and providing parents with childcare.

- The Grant Writing Workshop Series guidance materials are attached below.