The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded the Richmond, Va.-based Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden a $100,000 Environmental Education grant to lead educational opportunities for community volunteers to help reduce stormwater runoff pollution and create water-friendly landscapes. This grantee was selected through a competitive process and is one of four awarded this year in EPA’s Mid-Atlantic region.  

“Uncontrolled stormwater runoff can lead to flooding, reduced recreational use and health impacts on people, waterways and the Chesapeake Bay,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio.  “It’s a smart way to bring residents together to learn and also to roll up their sleeves and work on local projects to reduce stormwater runoff in Richmond.”

The Botanical Garden’s program will teach best management practices and restoration — planting native plants along the shoreline, removing invasive plants, correcting soil gradation, and installing a rain garden.  Volunteers will learn about the value of rain gardens’ function and the diverse palette of native plants that can be used in these challenging conditions.  The program will focus on the Sydnor Lake shoreline, which will have local benefits, but can also help improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Since 1992, EPA’s Environmental Education program seeks grant proposals from eligible applicants to support environmental education projects that promote environmental awareness and stewardship and help provide people with the skills to take responsible actions to protect the environment. This grant program provides financial support for projects that design, demonstrate, and/or disseminate environmental education practices, methods or techniques.

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