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Chesapeake Bay Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns (G3) Grant Program

Grants to USA Nonprofits and Agencies in Multiple States
for Green Projects in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT)

Deadline Date:

03/16/18 4:00 PM EST


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Grants to Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC nonprofits, local governments, and neighborhood or community associations to promote sustainable infrastructure in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact program staff in developing a proposal.

The Chesapeake Bay Green Streets-Green Jobs-Green Towns (G3) Grant Program funded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region III (EPA), Chesapeake Bay Trust (Trust), and the City of Baltimore Office of Sustainability with support from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, welcomes requests for urban green infrastructure proposals. The goal of the Chesapeake Bay G3 Grant Program is to help communities develop and implement plans that reduce stormwater runoff, increase the number and amount of green spaces in urban areas, improve the health of local streams and the Chesapeake Bay, and enhance quality of life and community livability.

This collaborative effort supports implementation of the Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration Executive Order and serves as a key component of EPA’s Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns (G3) Partnership. The G3 Partnership provides support for local, grassroots-level greening efforts to reduce stormwater runoff from towns and communities in urbanized watersheds. By focusing on “green streets” communities can develop and realize a green vision to design-build and operate and maintain green infrastructure stormwater practices. Green Streets anchor communities and serve as a catalyst for the integration of green practices that support green schools, greening of urban vacant lots, increasing urban tree canopy, and reducing impervious surfaces to improve natural infrastructure.

Applicants must be interested in integrating green stormwater infrastructure as a matter of standard practice in current or future strategies. Greening schools to connect teacher professional development, student learning, stormwater retrofits, and the green street projects are encouraged (visit the US EPA Storm Smart Schools Guide for more information). In addition, greening vacant lots to enhance urban areas is also encouraged. The G3 program is intended to support and foster market incentives for green infrastructure by building local and county-level capacity to implement innovative and cost-effective projects.


Expanding the quantity and quality of green spaces in urban areas is critical for protecting and restoring the health of local streams and rivers. Increasing green areas and building green practices into urban planning to address stormwater runoff and stream channel erosion can reduce pollutants, such as sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus, from entering our waterways. Greening urban areas and communities is a cost-effective conservation practice that has economic benefits.

Several practices can be employed to enhance green spaces in communities, including implementing urban green stormwater practices, greening schools, greening urban vacant lots, increasing urban tree canopy, and replacing impervious surfaces with more permeable materials. One type of project that can include all three of these practices and increase a community’s sustainability is a “green street.” A green street:

-Minimizes impact on the surrounding area through a natural system approach that incorporates a variety of water quality, energy- efficiency, and other environmental best practices;
-Reduces the construction and maintenance costs of infrastructure for local, county, and state-level agencies;
-Reduces the amount of water that is piped and discharged directly to streams and rivers, protecting them from erosion;
-Makes the best use of the street tree canopy for stormwater interception, as well as temperature mitigation and air quality improvement;
-Mitigates flooding;
-Encourages pedestrian and/or bicycle access; and
-Provides an aesthetic advantage to a community.

Green Street Projects are strongly encouraged.

A G3 approach is designed to bring a town or community’s “Green Vision” to life by providing the tools and resources needed to design, plan, and implement local green stormwater management practices. Green stormwater management practices not only enhance the water quality of local watersheds, these practices also enhance a community’s livability and economic vitality.

Small to mid-sized communities are seeking ways to boost their local economies in conjunction with protecting water resources through integrated planning and the design and construction of stormwater best management practices (BMPs). Building urban green infrastructure projects help address three important issues that these towns face: jobs, livability, and the environment. Projects funded under this program will help stimulate the green jobs market and enable families to work where they live and play. This initiative will empower communities that have felt disenfranchised to gain better access to restoration resources that support local improvements while also being recognized for their contributions in overall watershed protection.

Proposals selected through this funding opportunity are expected to enable accelerated implementation of urban green infrastructure stormwater management through innovative, cost-effective, green infrastructure-driven low impact development practices. Competitive proposals may also highlight additional benefits such as renewable energy use, increased local livability, green jobs creation, and greater connectedness and access to restoration opportunities.

Types of Eligible Projects:

Assistance in this program is available for:

1. Conceptual plan:

This is the first step in the planning process. Conceptual plans for large-scale, high-performing green street/green stormwater infrastructure projects addressing a depth of over one inch of runoff in which multiple stormwater best management practices (BMPs), such as street trees, rain gardens, pervious pavement, bioretention cells, and bioswales, are employed. It is expected that these practices are more efficient (in design, construction, and performance) and potentially have a smaller footprint then conventional practices. The conceptual Green Street should reference a broader, integrated community watershed plan. In addition, conceptual plans will be accepted for greening school property and urban vacant lots. One of the most important criteria used to evaluate conceptual design proposals is the likelihood of ultimate implementation.

2. Engineered design:

Proposal for engineered designs should include all of the design elements that would result in a final design that is implementable. Engineered design proposals may include innovative, green street/stormwater management projects, such as rain gardens, pervious pavement, bioretention cells, and other cost- effective urban green infrastructure BMPs managing over one inch of runoff per impervious acre. Such projects must be connected to a larger vision for a Green Town (e.g., school properties). It is encouraged that designs should go beyond traditional green infrastructure practices and incorporate next generation green infrastructure technologies that increase capture of stormwater, in addition to the reduction of nutrient pollution. Cost projections should be a part of the final design and include costs associated with implementation, operation, and maintenance. One of the most important criteria used to evaluate engineered design proposals is likelihood of ultimate implementation.

The output of the grant award (i.e., the design) must be permittable by the appropriate state environmental agency and all other appropriate local, state, and federal entities. You must have completed a permit pre-application meeting or you must have or requested a pre-application meeting prior to application submission to this program. State permit pre-application meetings are coordinated through Maryland’s Department of the Environment (MDE), Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality (VADEQ), the District of Columbia’s Department of the Environment (DDOE), Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP), West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP), and Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC). Proposed designs and specification deliverables, as described above, should be more than 90% complete. At a minimum, the output of a design project must include:

-Site map that includes the below items:
-Property boundaries;
-Project boundary;
-Field-run topographic survey of existing conditions;
-Drainage area to the practice and impervious cover in the drainage area;
-Mapped utilities and roads;
-As applicable, mean high water, full pool elevation, and bank-full/bench-full;
-Proposed design (grade changes, drainage structures, rock placement, etc.); and
-Landowner signature on the plan, which indicates project endorsement
-Copy of soil survey mapping and field confirmation of soil drainage class;
-Site details (e.g., topographic lines, roads, land uses, and soils)
-Detailed earthwork volumes (cut, fill, stockpiled, etc.);
-Planting plan (plant locations and plant types); and
-Site photos.

3. Implementation/construction of green streets, increasing urban tree canopy, and other green infrastructure projects:

The most competitive implementation/construction proposals will leverage funding from other sources for gray infrastructure redesign (repaving, utility upgrades, etc.), tree pit expansion, repaving, or reconfiguration. Local communities interested in pursuing a local green streets initiative may consider their local government’s road construction and maintenance schedule to infuse new green street elements into existing construction plans. This is a great strategy because bioretention cells, permeable pavement, street trees, and other green street elements can be incorporated into already planned street construction projects at minimal additional cost. Conceptual planning must have already been completed, though applicants may request funds to complete engineering drawings.

The conceptual plans submitted must include: 1) a calculation of total drainage area treated; 2) calculation of impervious acre treated; and 3) estimated cost per acre treated (1 inch). When calculating the cost of green infrastructure or cost per acre treated, proposals should separate these costs from traditional gray infrastructure costs that would have been incurred whether or not green elements were included (e.g., traditional paving, repair, standard mobilization, utilities, etc.).

Proposals must also clearly list which costs were included in the cost per acre treated, as well as the formulas used to calculate/establish treatment area. The strongest proposals will incorporate innovative green infrastructure BMPs and demonstrate cost-effectiveness of such practices. An example of a cost-effective project is one that treats at least one inch of runoff (per acre) and costs less than $60,000 per impervious acre of drainage area in an urbanized watershed. Cost per impervious acre treated is a metric for selection in this grant program. Therefore, you should consider reducing cost by working together, even in your own community, to reduce the cost per impervious acre treated. Please provide justification if your costs per impervious area treated acre are more than $60,000.

Leveraging ongoing planning, design, and construction activities and private capital is important: the strongest proposals will describe projects pursued in concert with existing street and other gray infrastructure re-design and/or repair projects. The strongest proposals will also consider sustainability in terms of building and strengthening community coalitions that will continue to carry urban greening programs forward beyond the life of the grant award.

Note: To be eligible for funding under this request, the specific proposed project(s) for implementation, conceptual design, or engineered drawings must not be required as new or re-development, regulatory mitigation, or regulatory offset.

4. White papers that analyze one or more aspects of green infrastructure:

White papers research a top priority subject to further green infrastructure use. Examples of white paper proposals may include but are not limited to analyses of:
-Green infrastructure costs relative to traditional gray infrastructure for improving water quality and quantity:
-For example, local governments investing in green infrastructure to meet local, state, and federal water quality requirements often present wide ranges in both actual and forecasted costs of green infrastructure implementation. Such reported costs have ranged from $60,000 to $1,000,000 per impervious acre treated. Part of this variability is due to inclusion of different components of the life cycle of the project (site identification, landowner permissions, design, permitting, implementation, inspection, and maintenance). While some studies have examined the costs of part of the life cycle of these projects, few studies have fully quantified all of the costs of green infrastructure and compared them to the cost of gray infrastructure. A white paper could quantify the full costs of green infrastructure in an effort to identify strategies (e.g., bundling projects, alternative procurement methods) or certain types of practices that will allow jurisdictions to meet their requirements in the most cost-effective way.

-Innovative design and treatment technologies to improve water quality impacts of stormwater, while providing additional environmental, economic, and social benefits to communities;

-How green streets and green infrastructure help to drive local economic development and benefit community health by creating green jobs;

-How to use green schools as an anchor for a community green street. Analysis should include how to incorporate green infrastructure elements in both the public right-of-way and on school grounds, should integrate the jurisdiction’s need to treat stormwater runoff as well as the school’s need to provide Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience for the students, should include professional development so that teachers are well-trained to deliver teachable moments using the stormwater retrofits, and ensure maintenance is provided;

-And/or development of Community Based Public Private Partnerships (CBP3) – consistent with approach described in US EPA’s CBP3 Guide;

-The interactions between green infrastructure and community resilience to flooding and other potential impacts of climate change. In terms of the latter, white paper projects might: 1) explore the impact that climate change may have on the design and longevity of green stormwater infrastructure practices or 2) explore the impacts that green stormwater infrastructure may have on climate change adaptation; and/or

-Maintenance operations, monitoring programs, and techniques that contribute to the overall long-term success and treatment of green infrastructure projects.

5. Green Street Charrette: A charrette is a planning or visioning session where citizens, planners, developers and other key stakeholders collaborate on the development of a plan, vision, or design for a project. Applicant will not receive direct grant funds but would be supported through technical assistance.

-Charrette applications must demonstrate a need, outline the topic of interest, discuss the target audience, and provide a need for the output(s). Designs should support G3 objectives and a triple bottom line approach addressing People, Planet, and Profit (P3) for improved local quality of life.
-Applications should provide information about other related activities (e.g., planned road projects, redevelopment, school grounds as a community anchor for Green Streets projects, etc.), planned greening efforts, community and/or regional projects, and activities which may be relevant to a potential charrette.
-Charrette applications should not request direct funding. G3 partners will provide technical assistance, if awarded. (a contractor would be selected to provide this technical assistance to a successful green street charrette applicant)
-Charrette applications that can provide matching funds and involve a variety of public and private partners are encouraged.

6. Greening Urban Vacant Lots:

Trash-strewn, overgrown vacant lots often afflict urban neighborhoods. Vacant lots offer an opportunity to strengthen the community by bringing citizens together to create community green space and walkable neighborhoods. Community groups are encouraged to form partnerships and request funds to transform vacant lots by planting trees, installing community gardens and urban farms, implementing pollinator gardens, and/or implementing other green infrastructure BMPs. Funds may be requested for design, implementation (if a design has already been developed), or both the design and implementation. Vacant lot projects will be evaluated on several criteria including the greening vision and alignment with funding partner priorities that include but are not limited to the number of trees planted, community partnerships demonstrated, outreach and education to the community, and the amount of surface area being replanted or impervious area being treated (if a stormwater BMP is proposed), and ultimate community benefit for the project. Participants are strongly encouraged to contact your local municipality to find out if a vacant lot you are interested in is available for the type of project you are proposing. Finally, greening vacant lot applications must provide documentation that the site is available for greening by the owner or by local policy that allows greening activities proposed. Funding partners are targeting vacant lot greening projects in Baltimore City with a priority given to projects located in Baltimore Green Network Plan focus areas. However, greening urban vacant lots will be considered elsewhere when they demonstrate a strong connection to the green street model and the community.


The strongest proposals will show committed partnerships that provide funding, technical assistance, or other in-kind services to support the project. Partners may include local governments, watershed organizations, other non-profit organizations, local businesses, civic groups, schools, religious institutions, and more.

For design proposals involving significant roadway alterations, a letter of commitment from the transportation agency responsible for the maintenance of the roadway in question is strongly encouraged and may be required as a contingency to any award, to ensure that implementation of the project has a reasonable assurance of successful completion.

Funding Priorities:

Funding partners will give priority to: 1) new applicants that demonstrate a need for a pilot project; 2) a commitment to integrate green infrastructure practices into larger green street/green community efforts supporting multiple environmental benefits; 3) funding a new phase of an existing projects that provides greater opportunities for success; 4) proposals for green streets where schools serve as an anchor for green infrastructure practices, increase stormwater education and literacy, further local compliance, and improve the surrounding communities (see the Storm Smart Schools Guide for guidance); 5) Implementation projects that are shovel ready and will be completed in 18 months or less; and 5) greening urban vacant lots (Baltimore City, MD, is a focus area and funding partner). Priority will also be given to projects that include partnerships, have matching funds, include opportunities to consider alternative financing for future success, demonstrate how green infrastructure is being integrated into planned gray infrastructure projects activities, and are part of larger greening efforts.

Eligible Budget Items

Eligible budget items for construction/implementation projects include, but are not limited to:
-Implementation of green streets;
-Removal of impervious surface, creation/expansion of street tree pits, curb cutting, and other preparatory work in the installation of green practices;
-Costs for plant and tree material, and restoration and construction materials such as mulch, tree tubes, gator bags, etc.
-Costs for green infrastructure best management practices associated with green streets and green infrastructure practices (e.g., bioretention, rain garden, green roof, etc.);
-Interpretive signage for greening projects (required budget item for implementation projects); and/or
-Staff time and consultant costs: Staff and consultant time that directly supports project related tasks will be considered. Be sure to include a description of the deliverables and scope of work that will be achieved by the staff person(s) and/or consultant for whom you are requesting funds. Include benefits as a separate line (do not combine with salary) and indicate hours devoted by each staff member to the project. Please contact Trust Program Officer for clarification of eligible budget items and limits.

With limited exceptions, funds will not be supplied for costs associated with impervious surface paving or repaving, curb construction, and other “gray” infrastructure components. However, outside funds used to pay for these costs can be considered matching funds. In fact, the G3 Partnership encourages combining green streets projects with planned gray infrastructure construction (e.g., school septic line upgrade combined with green infrastructure implementation).

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178107

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Maximum Funding:
-Up to $15,000 for conceptual plans
-Up to $30,000 for engineered design projects
-Up to $75,000 for implementation projects
-Up to $20,000 for white papers

Funding recommendations are provided for each project type. Funding can exceed the maximum amount recommended per project type, if justified. Discuss your project and funding request with the Program Manager if you think your request will exceed the recommended amount.

If selected, charrette applicants will receive technical assistance rather than direct funding.

Term of Contract:

Planning and design projects should be completed within approximately one year upon receipt of the grant award. Construction projects should be completed within approximately two years upon receipt of the grant award, although preference will be given to proposals for shovel ready projects that will be completed within 18 months or less.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Local governments such as municipalities, nonprofit organizations, neighborhood/community associations, and other nonprofit entities may apply.

Funding can be applied anywhere in the Chesapeake Bay watershed portion of EPA Region III (Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C), and all of Maryland.

By submitting an application to this program, applicants acknowledge that: 1) they are compliant with federal employment and non-discrimination laws and 2) they have not been debarred, convicted, charged or had a civil judgment rendered against them for fraud or related offense by any government agency (federal, state or local) or been terminated for cause or default by any government agency (federal, state or local).

Pre-Application Information:

A match is encouraged but not required.

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Chesapeake Bay Trust Program Officer early during proposal development.

Applicants must submit proposals using our Online Grants System, by 4:00 PM (EST) on March 16th, 2018. Late applications will not be accepted, and the online funding opportunity will close promptly at 4:00 PM.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit at least a few days prior to the deadline given potential for high website traffic on the due date.

Notifications will be issued in May of 2018.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

Jeffrey Popp, Grant Manager
410-974-2941 x103

Grant Coverage Areas:

All communities in Maryland and throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed portions of Delaware, Pennsylvania, Washington DC, West Virginia, and Virginia are eligible to apply.

Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns grant funding can be applied anywhere in the Chesapeake Bay watershed portion of EPA Region 3 (excludes New York).

Use this kmz file (see Supporting Documents) in Google Earth to determine if your project is in the Chesapeake Bay watershed portion of EPA Region 3.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Delaware;   Maryland;   Pennsylvania;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   West Virginia