by Max Brantley
The city of Little Rock has announced a news conference on its receipt of a $900,000 federal grant — to be matched by more than $600,000 in city money — for a project in the 100-500 blocks of Main Street to test managing water runoff with "porous pavers, tree wells, rain gardens and other water filtration practices." The green project will also serve as an educational exercise for the nearby eStem charter school.
Noted: The federal EPA grant is funneled through the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission. A touch of irony. The Arkansas Farm Bureau is currently attempting to use the ANRC as a last-minute intervenor to discredit the Central Arkansas Water's carefully developed plan for controlling runoff in the Lake Maumelle watershed to protect the city water supply.
The City of Little Rock was awarded a $900,000 federal grant today by the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission to work on a water quality demonstration project that will take place on Main Street.
Randy Young, the Executive Director of the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, said, “This project has the potential to “set the bar” in the approach to managing runoff in urban areas by utilizing proactive environmentally sound practices and techniques that are aesthetically pleasing.” This is the first project Green Infrastructure project of its magnitude and diversity that has been funded in the Central Arkansas area.
The project will include work in the 100, 200 and 500 blocks of Main Street to demonstrate the benefits of green infrastructure applications such as porous pavers, tree wells, rain gardens and other water filtration practices to enhance water quality. It will restore some hydrologic connection within the urban environment while educating the community about such techniques and their benefits.
What: Press Conference to Announce EPA Grant
When: Monday, July 9th — 1:00 p.m.
Where: Corner of Main & 3rd Streets
Participants: Mayor Mark Stodola
Randy Young, the Executive Director of the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, Arkansas Well Water Commission
Sam Coleman, Acting Region Six Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency
John Bacon, CEO, EStem Public Charter School
The details include:
· The project will begin in July, 2012 and is scheduled to end in June, 2015.
· Total project cost: $1,578,959
o Match: $678,959
o Federal: $900,000
· Construction will start after August 2013
For an educational component, the City of Little Rock will partner with eStem Public Charter School. Students, at all levels, will use the project as a living laboratory to learn about water quality.
For more information, contact Caran Curry, Grant Manager at 952-5792 or Debbie Carreiro, Grant Coordinator, at 399-3447.