The city of New Orleans is launching a new program to help Gentilly residents install green infrastructure on their properties to absorb rain water.
In 2016, the city got more than $141.2 million to improve stormwater management through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s National Disaster Resilience Competition.
Some of that money will be used for big projects, like the Mirabeau Water Garden -- a 25-acre park designed to reduce flooding in Gentilly.
That will absorb a lot of water, but small projects help, too. Under the new Community Adaptation Program, the city will soon start issuing grants to qualified low- to moderate-income Gentilly residents to build green infrastructure at their homes.
The grants will be worth up to $25,000 and will be used to pay for architectural services, to tear up concrete, and to install things like rain barrels and rain gardens. The idea is to design spaces that absorb water on site, and keep it from washing into the street.
After a light rain Tuesday morning, officials made the announcement standing in a grassy lot in Gentilly -- a rain garden designed to absorb the summer downpours. Councilwoman Helena Moreno says the new program will help drainage.
“We can no longer just solely rely on a pumping system to be our only line of defense when it comes to flood water management,” she says. “So we have to start thinking outside the box and come up with new approaches and this right here is one of them”
The $5-million Community Adaptation Program will fund a couple hundred projects. On Saturday, the city will host a workshop to help residents sign up. It will be held at 10 a.m. at Dillard University’s Georges Auditorium.
Support for the Coastal Desk comes from the Walton Family Foundation, the Greater New Orleans Foundation and the Foundation for Louisiana.