Illinois Announces Picks for State Green Infrastructure Grant Program

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has announced the awardees for the state Green Infrastructure Grant program. Fourteen applicants will receive a portion of the nearly $5 million made available for the inaugural year of the program. Recipients include the City of Joliet ($820,000), the City of Danville ($750,000) and the Safer Pest Control Project ($73,280).

Grant winners will use the funding to install cost-effective, environmentally friendly systems to tackle flooding in basements and on streets. These systems, known as “green infrastructure” practices, include vegetative swales, permeable paving, green rooftops, trees and rain gardens, which capture the rain where it falls.

“This funding will provide the seed money needed for communities to test out green infrastructure and observe first-hand all the benefits it provides,” said Scott Bernstein, president of CNT. “The research shows that green infrastructure measures are as effective as conventional approaches in relieving flooding, and can be installed more cheaply and quickly. They also reduce the cost to municipalities of managing stormwater, improve air quality and increase home values. Cash-strapped municipalities should especially take a closer look at this strategy for managing water resources, given its much higher return on investment.”
More than 150 state and local units of government, nonprofit organizations, citizen and environmental groups, individuals and businesses applied to the program, requesting a total of $50 million. The outpouring of interest was particularly impressive considering the 25 percent funding match required of most applicants.

One Response to “Illinois Announces Picks for State Green Infrastructure Grant Program”

  1. Joan Slezak Fritz Says:

    Will this program be funded for next 2012? Our city, Park Ridge, IL is very prone to basement flooding and I believe it would be a perfect place for green infrastructure. Our group, Park Ridge Cool Cities, has been looking into green infrastructure in the hope that is could assist in addressing this problem. We are interested in taking part in any program that can assist building green infrastructure in our city. What must we do to become involved in this program if money is available for next year?

    Thank you for your time and attention,

    Joan Slezak-Fritz
    Park Ridge Cool Cities Program Leader