published Friday, November 30th, 2012

Three local groups share green award

Three of Tennessee's five 2012 Green Development Awards and Grants are going to local cities or agencies.

Athens, the Southeast Tennessee Development District and Chattanooga will get shares of $127,500 from the state's Green Development grant program for projects such as rain gardens, green roofs, pervious concrete applications, trees and tree boxes. The money also may be used for citizen outreach and education efforts, according to Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation spokeswoman Meg Lockhart.

• Athens will receive $28,080 for its Green Streets Initiative, a collaborative effort with the Tennessee Public Works Institute and Tennessee Transportation Assistant Program to apply both traditional and experimental cleaning technologies to local roads, trails and parking lots.

Athens' initiative also monitors the environmental benefits of creating a Green Perpetual Pavement Program, and a portion of the funding will help purchase a spray/squeegee machine to maintain cleaner roads.

Athens officials plan to share both the equipment and technology with other cities and counties across the state.

• The Southeast Tennessee Development District was granted $18,080 to partner with 15 municipalities and five local counties to develop amendments to land-use regulations to improve stormwater runoff problems.

• Chattanooga gets $28,080 to develop its own reward for green infrastructure -- the proposed Low-Impact Development Excellence Awards.

The LID Excellence awards will recognize outstanding achievement of land development or redevelopment projects exceeding regulatory requirements or meeting requirements through innovative green infrastructure technologies.

Chattanooga Water Quality Manager Mo Minkara said city officials plan a banquet and cash awards for "the best green infrastructure work to treat stormwater runoff" in both new development and in retrofitting existing properties.

Memphis and Knoxville also received awards. Memphis will install rain gardens and offer student education about them at three Memphis schools. Knoxville will make a stormwater infrastructure retrofit.

The awards come from a partnership of TDEC, the Tennessee Stormwater Association, the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

about Pam Sohn...

Pam Sohn has been reporting or editing Chattanooga news for 25 years. A Walden’s Ridge native, she began her journalism career with a 10-year stint at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. She came to the Chattanooga Times Free Press in 1999 after working at the Chattanooga Times for 14 years. She has been a city editor, Sunday editor, wire editor, projects team leader and assistant lifestyle editor. As a reporter, she also has covered the police, ...

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