Chicago/Calumet region to receive major stormwater, green infrastructure upgrades with grant

Partners of the Chi-Cal Rivers Fund have announced five projects selected to receive $1.1 million in grant funding that will help carry out these efforts.

Nov. 18, 2014 -- Today, partners of the Chi-Cal Rivers Fund (CRF), a public-private partnership (PPP) working to restore the health, vitality and accessibility of waterways in the Chicago and Calumet regions, announced five projects selected to receive $1.1 million in grant funding that will help carry out these efforts.

With a focus on reducing stormwater runoff, enhancing fish and wildlife habitat, and improving public-use opportunities, this investment will support community-driven projects that benefit the people and wildlife of the region. Grant recipients will match the new grant funding with an additional $2.5 million, for a total on-the-ground impact of $3.6 million.

Administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), CRF is a partnership among ArcelorMittal, Chicago Community Trust, Crown Family Philanthropies, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Joyce Foundation, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and Wrigley Company Foundation. The partnership began in 2013, and the $1.1 million announced today marks its second annual set of grants.

The five grants will help improve stormwater management in the cities of Gary, Ind., and Blue Island, Ill., add public park space in Chicago, enhance prairie and wetland habitat along the north branch of the Chicago River, and improve fish habitat in the main stem of the Chicago River. Collectively, the funded projects will:

  • Install more than 242,000 square feet of green stormwater infrastructure
  • Add more than 2.9 million gallons of stormwater storage capacity
  • Add 4 acres of new public park space
  • Restore and enhance 178 acres of wetland and upland habitat
  • Improve approximately 4,600 feet of in-stream and riparian habitat

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