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RiverSmart Innovation Grant - Project Examples and Scoring

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The project examples below are fictional. We have put them together to illustrate the types of projects that DOEE would potentially fund. Note that each present an innovative idea relating back to one of the project areas using one or more educational methods.

  1. A locally-owned restaurant is participating in DOEE’s RiverSmart Communities program to design and install a rain garden, in order to manage the stormwater from its parking lot in a highly visible location. Since design and construction is being funded by a combination of RiverSmart Communities and private funds, the restaurant owner applies for RiverSmart Innovation Grant funding to incorporate an education component into the project. The owner has partnered with a local artist who will design a sign that describes the project and its environmental benefit. She has also partnered with an environmentally focused after-school program. Once the rain garden plot is ready, the students will participate in a community-wide, volunteer planting event.
  1. A college environmental group has permission to remove asphalt from an unused campus space and convert it into a “pocket park.” The group partners with the college to apply for grant funding to host a design meeting, or “charrette”, on campus, rent tools to break up the asphalt, hire a hauler to move the asphalt to an asphalt recycler, and purchase soil and plant materials to create the park. The group has received matching funds from the college to purchase benches and other outdoor furniture to finish out the park.
  1. A nonprofit wants to place homeless adults in green infrastructure jobs. It applies for grant funding to develop a training and placement program. The nonprofit will partner with a landscape architecture firm to develop the curriculum.
  1. A neighborhood-based gardening group plans to grow native plants in a community nursery for distribution at a neighborhood-wide planting event in the spring. Plants will be given to residents and businesses interested in Bayscaping their property. The group will develop a “how-to” guide to planting and caring for native plants. They request funding for seeds, dirt, fertilizer, two rain barrels, soaker hoses and costs related to developing the guide. A lawyer volunteer will develop the bylaws of the fledgling nonprofit.
  1. A Girl Scout troop wants to host four litter cleanup events throughout the Anacostia Watershed. The troop seeks grant funds to purchase protective gloves and pay for an environmental-educator-led canoe field trip on the Anacostia River. The Department of Public Work’s Helping Hands Program has already committed to lending the troop trash pickers and trash bags and will haul away the bagged garbage at the end of each cleanup event.
  1. An unincorporated neighborhood association thinks that artistically-decorated public trash cans would help to reduce the litter that pollutes nearby tributaries of the Anacostia River. Because its research shows that trash cans decorated with art are less likely to be vandalized or stolen, the association plans to host an environmental art contest for youth at the local middle school. It applies for funding to buy 10 new trash cans, art supplies, and materials to wrap cans with winning designs. The group partners with a local community foundation to apply for grant funding.
  1. A small, locally-owned business plans to remove trash and restore habitat in the stream that runs behind its property. The business owner proposes to host four litter and invasive species removal events and then a fifth event that would involve planting native plants along the shoreline to protect it from erosion. The stream is located on District land operated by the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR). The business owner has already received permission from DPR to do this work. A local nonprofit, expert in habitat restoration, has agreed to partner in the project. The business owner would like to hire high school students to do the invasive species removal and planting. Grant funds are requested to purchase native plants, tools, cover some of the nonprofit’s costs, and pay a stipend to the high school students for their work.
  1. A nonprofit devoted to local watershed issues seeks to work with youth during the summer to educate them on the impacts of stormwater runoff through a stream restoration project along the Anacostia River. The nonprofit proposes to partner with DOEE’s Green Zone Environmental Program (GZEP) to implement the project. Grant funds are requested to purchase supplies needed for the stream restoration work and cover some of the nonprofit’s costs, including the cost of transporting the students to the site.

How projects will be scored

Once a project is found eligible, it will be scored against the following criteria:

Scoring Criteria

Points

Demonstrates an understanding of the project’s link to stormwater issues.

10

Benefits the Anacostia River, directly or indirectly

5

Benefits the District’s MS4 area

5

Involves members of a specific community in a meaningful way

15

Is new and innovative

10

Will produce quantifiable outcomes

10

Likely to serve as a model for future projects

5

Presents an achievable plan for executing the project

15

Presents a budget that is cost-effective

15

Will manage funds and reporting properly

10