District 4 North Birmingham Community Receives Another Federal Grant, 3rd Grant Awarded to the District in the Last 60 days
Mayor’s Office of Public Information
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) announced yesterday at the Urban Waters National Training Workshop that 58 community-led wetland, stream and coastal restoration projects across the nation have been awarded approximately $2.2 million in grants. Bertram A. Hudson K-8 School Bio-retention System is the recipient of the Five Star and Urban Restoration Grant totaling $84,000. The project is receiving funding from Southern Company and the U.S. Forest Service through their NFWF partnership. The grant was prepared with via a joint effort between Councilor William Parker’s office and the City’s Planning, Engineering and Permits department.
“This grant is unique in that it will give both K-8 students and college students the opportunity to learn about stewardship of land and storm water management, exposing them to a new area of science that they may never have seen while helping the larger community,” said Birmingham Mayor William Bell.
The grants are awarded through the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program, which develops community stewardship of local natural resources across the country, preserving these resources for future generations and enhancing habitat for local wildlife by addressing water quality issues in priority watersheds. Since 1999, the program has supported more than 820 projects, with more than $9.8 million in federal funds, $7.9 million in private and corporate contributions, and $67 million in matching funds at the local level. Programmatic support for 2016 Five Star and Urban Waters program is provided by the Wildlife Habitat Council, and major funding by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, FedEx, Southern Company, Bank of America and Alcoa.
“The Five Star and Urban Restoration Program is such a wonderful example of a successful community-focused conservation effort,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “The program is in its 17th year, so it represents a long-term commitment to environmental challenges. And because a major program component is engaging communities in conservation, not only do we see the conservation benefits of the individual projects, but we also see the tremendous rewards of involving and educating citizens in the restoration and protection of clean water and healthy fish and wildlife habitat in their own communities.”
“The Urban Waters Federal Partnership reconnects urban communities, particularly those that are overburdened or economically distressed, with their waterways by improving coordination among federal agencies and collaborating with community-led revitalization efforts to improve our nation’s water systems and promote their economic, environmental and social benefits,” said EPA Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water Joel Beauvais. “This public-private partnership allows EPA to assist communities in ways we could not do on our own.”
“The project will retrofit a portion of Hudson K-8 with a bio-retention basin and pervious pavers. The bio-retention basin will capture the initial runoff from a portion of the roof and infiltrate into the soil; this will allow the overflow from larger storm events to pass into the existing storm system. This project will help reduce pollutant loads in Village Creek while also enhancing storm water education for Birmingham City Schools and UAB students,” said Councilor Parker.