FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Chicago, IL – CNT is releasing six RainReady plans for the Calumet Corridor communities of Blue Island, Calumet City, Calumet Park, Dolton, Riverdale, and Robbins. The plans establish a distinct path forward in each town to reduce systemic flooding issues while creating more beautiful, economically vibrant communities.
“In 2013, CNT‘s ‘The Prevalence and Cost of Urban Flooding’ report found that between 2007-2011, a majority of Cook County, Illinois ZIP codes experienced flood damage outside of federally designated floodplains,” said Erin Grossi, CEO of Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT). “RainReady emerged from this research to work with communities using a collaborative planning approach to set a path toward greater resilience through improved stormwater management.”
The Calumet Corridor planning process is funded by Cook County’s Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program. CNT’s primary project partner is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“Many of our suburban municipalities suffer from flooding and stormwater management problems, and we are pleased to assist these communities through our CDBG-DR program,” said Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle. “We support efforts like RainReady that seek to achieve flood relief in a way that also brings increased economic activity, neighborhood beautification, recreation and more – the kinds of multiple benefits that are a hallmark of meaningful community investment.”
The Calumet Corridor planning process began in February of 2016 by assessing risks and opportunities in collaboration with partners, community leaders, and municipal staff to map out solutions. “We brainstorm, we have workbooks, we’re trying to find out exactly what’s going on in the homes,” said Elizabeth Scott, Chief of Staff of the Village of Dolton, about the process. “We don’t want people to leave their homes because they can’t deal with the costliness of flooding.”
The approach works to bring flooding issues out into the community for a collaborative discussion. “RainReady is not coming to us saying this is what we think is best for you. They’re coming with the approach of, we want to see how we can work best with you to address your issue,” said Loree Washington, Village of Riverdale resident and Faith in Place employee.
To celebrate the release of the plans and honor the agencies and community leaders who have made it a success, CNT and its partners are holding a Calumet Corridor Plan Launch on Wednesday, March 22nd at South Suburban College, beginning at 5:30 pm. Featured speakers include Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Board President Mariyana Spyropoulos, and United States Army Corps of Engineer Colonel Christopher T. Drew. To register, please visit www.cnt.org/events.
For more information about the Calumet Corridor project, please visit www.rainready.org/calumet-corridor.
Direct media inquiries to:
Center for Neighborhood Technology
President’s Press Office