Green Infrastructure Toolkit
Many states have grant programs that may be used to fund green infrastructure projects and programs. Because of the varied and broad benefits of green infrastructure, a diverse array of stormwater and other environmental programs, including those for wildlife preservation, land conservation, tree planting, and water quality improvement, may be available. For example, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, supported its green infrastructure planning by applying for and receiving funding to develop an open space and smart growth plan from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resource (DCNR) Keystone Grant Funding program.See footnote 1
The City of Tucson, Arizona, used a grant from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to fund a series of green infrastructure projects in the Rincon Heights neighborhood, including the conversion of vacant lots into stormwater management pocket parks featuring bioretention elements, curb cuts, and the removal of impervious surfaces.See footnote 2
State-administered transportation grants can provide a regular funding source for municipal green infrastructure programs. The City of Grand Rapids, Michigan, used a Michigan Department of Transportation Enhancement Grant (complemented with funding from neighborhood and business associations and a regional environmental council) to construct bioretention islands in the roadway. These islands capture stormwater and reduce sediment runoff and phosphorus loading.See footnote 3
The greater Memphis region created a plan to combine multiple sources of federal, state, and local funding – including transportation funding for recreational trails – to implement a regional plan for trails and open space to mitigate flooding and promote community growth. In 2015, the Mid-South Regional GreenPrint, a vision for the next 25 years, envisions a regional network of green space, including parks and greenways. The plan includes a comprehensive description of how multiple sources of funding, from federal funds to state wildlife and conservation funding, could be combined to pay for this network.See footnote 4
Local governments can increase the effectiveness and reach of grant funding by leveraging federal or state grants through environmental loan programs. For example, the City of Lancaster, PA, funded a program that installed stormwater management features in parking lots by leveraging grant money from the state natural resources agency (as well as from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation) to secure a loan from Pennsylvania’s infrastructure bank.See footnote 5
Community-Based Conservation in Tucson’s Rincon Heights Neighborhood
Memphis, Tennessee Mid-South Regional GreenPrint
The City of Tucson, Arizona, used a grant from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to fund a series of green infrastructure projects in the Rincon Heights neighborhood, including the conversation of vacant lots into a stormwater management pocket parks featuring bioretention elements, curb cuts, and the removal of impervious surfaces.
The Mid-South Regional Greenprint plan, released in 2015, is an example of a plan that provides funding and financing options for implementing green infrastructure projects in jurisdictions throughout a four-county region in Memphis, Tennessee. The plan discusses how the region can apply multiple sources of federal, state, and local funding – including transportation funding for recreational trails – to implement a regional network of trails and open space to mitigate flooding and promote community growth.
The Rainscaping Iowa Program is a collaboration among several state and local agencies in Iowa and is dedicated to educating the public and training professionals in infiltration-based stormwater management. The program is funded through a variety of state and local sources, including the state Department of Transportation’s Living Roadway Trust, along with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural and Land Stewardship, Department of Economic Development, the Iowa Storm Water Education Program, and the Polk Soil and Water Conservation District.