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Community Stormwater Solutions Grants

RiverSmart ProjectsThe Community Stormwater Solutions Grant Program provides funding for innovative and community centered projects with the goal of improving 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 that are designed to increase knowledge and lead to behavior change as it relates to watershed and stormwater-related issues. Since 2016,  DOEE has awarded 57 grants totaling $1,059,629.  The program is currently administered through a partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Trust

Applications are due July 16, 2021 at 6:00 pm. Project areas can 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 lead or supported by the priority community within the District.

The total amount of funding available is $200,000. Up to $30,000 is available for Tier 1 small/medium-scale projects and $30,001-$50,000 is available for Tier 2 medium/large-scale projects. See the Request for Applications for more information.

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Program Contacts:

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

Chesapeake Bay Trust
Bre’Anna Brooks    |    410-974-2941 ext. 112
[email protected]

Map of Community Stormwater Solutions Grants Awarded from 2016-2020
Click on a point to learn more about a project.

2020 Community Stormwater Solutions Grantees
16 grants totaling $295,002

Anacostia Riverkeeper (ARK): River Service Today, River Stewards Tomorrow ($15,320) 
ARK will organize a series of stream visits, trash cleanups, and educational activities with high school students and community members in the targeted sub-watersheds of the Anacostia River watershed in Wards 5, 6, 7, and 8. The project aims to educate students and the community about the amounts and types of litter, how it is brought to the river and shoreline by stormwater, impacts of microplastics pollution, and what students and their communities can do to lesson trash pollution. 

Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS): Building Community through Service with Anacostia High School ($15,500)
The Anacostia Watershed Society will engage 20 Anacostia High School students to improve the water quality and habitat of the Anacostia River through interactive learning opportunities and action projects in their Ward 8 community.  Through the project, students will learn about their watershed and learn why it is important to take care of the land near the river. Students will design and implement activities that focus on stormwater management, pollution prevention, and watershed restoration solutions. Through this program, students will earn up to 20 community service hours, helping them to meet graduation requirements. 

Casey Trees: Trees, Water, and You: Fostering Stewardship on Kingman & Heritage Islands ($19,972)
Casey Trees aims to provide a new perspective of the trees on Kingman and Heritage Islands for youth and adults, demonstrating how trees contribute to the natural space along the Anacostia River. The project will result in digital and print educational resources to provide readily accessible information about the trees on the islands. Casey Trees will host a Community Stewardship Day to introduce these resources in April 2021.  

City Blossoms: Environmental Education at the Farm at Kelly Miller ($20,000)
City Blossoms will engage and educate the community and students of Kelly Miller Middle School at the Farm at Kelly Miller on their local ecosystem, water pollution, native flora and fauna, and the Anacostia River. The goal of the project is to foster environmental stewardship through a sense of ownership of the local watershed and ecosystem.  

Day Eight: Anacostia Swim Club ($20,000)
Day Eight will engage DC residents in the virtual Anacostia Swim Club, which furthers the goal of a "fishable, swimmable Anacostia River” and highlights the efforts by many partners towards this goal. The project will involve virtual poetry performances through the "DC Poets for DC Schools" program.   

Designgreen LLC: Takoma Community Collaborative: Streamway to Greenway ($20,000)
Designgreen partners with the Takoma Community Collaborative to explore green infrastructure solutions through community-based design charrettes with the goal of producing a shovel ready solution 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 has tried for ten years to find an existing city program that might solve the issue. Their conclusion, they must work collectively through a community process to reach a consensus design that educates all along the way and creates a cadre of students to help maintain the outcome. This effort produces materials and a process that fill a gap in the District's programs for other communities to follow. 

Endangered Species Coalition (ESC): Quincy Entrance and Woodland Improvement Project ($10,000)
ESC is the fiscal sponsor of the Rock Creek Songbirds project, a unique conservation and outreach initiative in Rock Creek Park. Now in its seventh year, the Songbirds project has made significant progress in cooperation with the National Park Service, restoring habitat and engaging residents of one of the city’s most diverse neighborhoods. This project seeks to protect and expand a woodland area adjacent to a neglected major entrance to the park – known informally as “Quincy alley” -- while enhancing public recreation space. The new Songbirds project will see the installation of a natural play space and picnic tables, native tree plantings, and regular programs to make the Quincy alley area a vibrant community and park space. 

Friendship Public Charter School: Friendship Collegiate Academy Giving Tree ($20,000)
Friendship Collegiate Academy will create the “Giving Tree,” an artistic vertical garden structure that celebrates and gives life while providing students a “living” platform for scientific discovery. The project will support Collegiate as it engages students and the communities in which they reside. It will also provide a platform to study water quality and stormwater management, pollution prevention, and watershed restoration.   

Living Classrooms Foundation of the National Capital Region: Anacostia High School Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience ($19,996)
Living Classrooms will offer a Meaningful Watershed Education Experience (MWEE) to 60 Anacostia High School students focused on stormwater runoff pollution. The program will use Kingman and Heritage Islands in the Anacostia River as a field experience site, and also provides intensive Professional Development for 46 teachers. Students and teachers will learn about the stormwater issues affecting the Anacostia, consider what personal and school-wide efforts can be taken at Kingman and Heritage Islands and within the community to reduce the impact of stormwater runoff pollution, and conduct student-designed action projects, which may include litter collection, plantings, or community advocacy that raises the level of local awareness of and investment in Kingman and Heritage Islands and promotes lifelong watershed stewardship. 

National Wildlife Federation: Sacred Grounds: Engaging the Hillcrest Community in Caring for Creation in the Anacostia Watershed ($19,612)
National Wildlife Federation (NWF) partnered with Interfaith Power Light (IPL) and East Washington Heights Baptist Church to educate and encourage the church congregation and Hillcrest neighbors to consider managing stormwater runoff from their property and planting natives to help restore wildlife habitat in the Anacostia River watershed.  

Capital Community Partners: Lluvia Verde: Green Career Training for DC Latinos ($15,000)
Capital Community Partners and ecoLatinos will conduct outreach and recruitment activities to increase participation of District Latino residents in workforce training on stormwater solutions by recruiting up to 30 Spanish-speaking students and provide RiverSmart Homes trainings. Training will be conducted through the Catholic Charities’ Pre-Apprenticeship Green Construction Program offered at the Spanish Catholic Center in Columbia Heights. 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.  

Pipkin Creative Communications: Beauty of the Bay Mural ($19,747)
Pipkin Creative Communications will create an original artwork wall mural on a highly visible public wall. The themes will be guided by a professional and experienced muralist who specializes in youth engagement and via public design charrettes. The input for the mural will be derived from several feedback sessions including student focus groups and public meetings. The mural will amplify the message of stewardship of the Chesapeake Bay through images of the plants and animals of the watershed and Bay as well as messages of proper trash disposal. In particular, messaging and themes of no littering and no disposal of trash in storm drains and catch basins. 

The Green Scheme: Ward 8 Water Watchers ($19,995)
The Green Scheme and the Audubon Naturalist Society, along with other local partners, will engage 125 people living near Oxon Run in Ward 8 through six family-oriented activities that will include nature walks, harvesting healthy produce, collecting creek critters to determine stream health, picking up litter, nature-focused art, a boat ride exploring a larger waterway, and a final celebration to learn about ways to continue to be a Ward 8 Water Watcher. The ultimate project goal is a cleaner, healthier Oxon Run and a more engaged community that takes action to steward its natural resources. 

The Urban Studio: The Virtual Studio: Designing for DC Stormwater ($20,000)
The Virtual Studio: Designing for DC Stormwater project is a series of five Masterclass style learning modules that will be hosted virtually using an interactive webinar format. The program will teach DC high schools students how to design for stormwater virtually on a real site in the Anacostia watershed. The project will connect students with practicing landscape architects, engineers,  andurban planners, and will raise awareness around DC stormwater challenges by harnessing the expertise of leaders on the cutting edge of solving stormwater problems. DC students will learn that design is the solution to pollution and are connected to careers that can transform their lives and the city in which they live. 

Urban Learning and Teaching Center: Lions in the City: Cleveland Elementary School Waterway Guardians in Shaw ($20,000)
This project is a partnership between Urban Learning and Teaching Center’s Urban Adventure Squad and Cleveland Elementary School. It will immerse the school's 4th and 5th graders in a long-term (SY 20-21), neighborhood-based, watershed education project that will connect them to the Anacostia River, beginning with the storm drain on their block and ending with an adventure on the river. These 4th and 5th graders will share their knowledge with the school's 2nd and 3rd graders to ensure that younger students at the school understand the connection between caring for their neighborhood and caring for their watershed, and so that the project creates a lasting culture of stewardship. 

Ward 8 Woods Conservancy: Restore Fort Stanton Park ($19,860)
Ward 8 Woods will help restore Fort Stanton Park by removing litter, cutting back invasive plants, and conducting community outreach to engage residents in its revitalization.

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