Center for Neighborhood Technology to Run Chicago’s Sustainable Backyards Program
CHICAGO (September 24, 2012) – The City of Chicago has selected the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) to manage the Chicago Sustainable Backyards Program (SusBy). SusBy promotes simple, low-cost measures that residents can use to enhance the environment and reduce neighborhood flooding.
“CNT is excited to work with the City to foster backyards and community spaces that conserve water, manage stormwater, combat climate change and bring nature to Chicago, all while helping residents save money,” said CNT CEO Kathryn Tholin.
Sustainable Backyards encourages Chicagoans to create more environmentally-friendly landscapes in their yards, as well as in community and school gardens. The program offers Chicago residents educational information and rebates up to 50% back on their purchases of:
- TREES (up to $100 back)
- NATIVE PLANTS (up to $60 back)
- COMPOST BINS (up to $50 back)
- RAIN BARRELS (up to $40 back)
The SusBy program was created to alleviate basement and neighborhood flooding and reduce the flow of polluted water into our rivers and Lake Michigan using green infrastructure. Green infrastructure, as opposed to gray infrastructure (such as pipes), uses natural processes in order to infiltrate, evaporate, and/or reuse stormwater. Many of the green infrastructure practices encouraged have a multitude of benefits, from providing wildlife habitat to cooling the air and fostering a sense of community. Educational workshops will continue to be offered to residents who want to learn more about the SusBy program and the basics of making their green spaces more sustainable.
Sustainable Backyards is part of CNT’s “Smart Water for Smart Regions” initiative, which includes research, inventive solutions, and regional advocacy focused on water supply and stormwater management in the Great Lakes region. Sustainable Backyards will complement CNT’s wet weather retrofitting program, “Wetrofit,” to test and install fixes for flooding, currently being piloted in Chicago’s Albany Park and Rogers Park neighborhoods.
Funding for rebates currently comes from the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Pollution Prevention Program and a USDA Forest Service Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Grant.
CDOT: Sean Wiedel, 312.744.8182
CNT: Nicole Gotthelf, 773.269.4029