Several green infrastructure projects will be coming to New Orleans' most flood-prone neighborhoods thanks to an $86-thousand grant from the Institute for Sustainable Communities.
Healthy Community Services, a local nonprofit, will use the grant money to build green infrastructure projects designed to collect stormwater - like rain gardens - in the 7th Ward and Treme, two areas that flooded heavily last year.
Angela Chalk is the executive director of Healthy Community Services. She announced the grant during a press conference at the Nora Navra Public Library. "It was overwhelming excitement," she said, "because these are two neighborhoods that are traditionally left out, and they're most vulnerable."
Vulnerable to flooding, in particular. For the past year, residents from those neighborhoods have been creating a wish list of projects they'd like to see. Some of the ideas are big and expensive - like paving city streets with special asphalt that lets rain seep through. Others are smaller, like planting trees.
In the next few months, residents will decide which projects to build first.
"It's all about empowering the residents in both communities so that they can decide for themselves and have a transparent process of how we want to handle repetitive urban flooding in the two neighborhoods," says Chalk.
The first round of projects will be built over the next year; residents will decide on future projects as more money comes in.