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Grant program in Logan Square lets rain, investment soak in

Photo: Josh Ellis

These rain barrels and permeable walkway will better manage rain water around this homeowner's detached garage.

By Kara Riggio

MPC research assistant Matt Nichols contributed to this post

We are currently approaching the half-way mark for the Milwaukee Avenue Green Development Corridor program to help implement more than $200,000 worth of green infrastructure projects in Logan Square. After several months of community meetings and property visits by MPC staff, several Logan Square residents have envisioned ways the project can enhance the aesthetics of their properties while providing significant stormwater benefits to the community. As we continue to receive applications, it is likely that more than half of the program funding will be allocated to a wide range of projects by the end of 2012.  The remainder will be available for applications received in 2013.

The projects currently in the running for grant funding range from the modest – like a permeable walkway and rain barrel installation completed a few weeks ago (shown above) – to, well, much more ambitious projects we can’t describe until they are approved by our advisory committee and the Ill. Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), which funds the program through the Ill. Green Infrastructure Grant (IGIG).  As of the latest round of applications, the program has received 10 completed proposals totaling roughly $100,000 worth of reimbursements, and leveraging another $300,000-plus in outside funding. At the same time, several other complementary stormwater improvements are underway or complete in the same neighborhood, concentrating the impact of these green infrastructure investments:

  • A wholesale stormwater retrofit of the Goethe School, also funded by the IGIG program, should kick off in 2013.
  • The Chicago Rarities Orchard Project at the intersection of Logan Boulevard and Milwaukee Avenue should break ground in 2013, with the support of the Chicago Dept. of Housing and Economic Development.
  • Woodard Plaza, at the intersection of Diversey, Kimball and Milwaukee avenues, is slated for a stormwater and Placemaking overhaul in 2013, courtesy of the Chicago Dept. of Transportation.

If you own a home or business in Logan Square, it is not too late to apply for funding for a retrofit project that will improve the value of your property, contribute to reductions in neighborhood flooding and downstream water quality problems, and make you part of a growing movement in the neighborhood. Visit www.logansquareh2o.org for more information about the grant program.

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