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By Alex DeMetrick

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It doesn’t have to be big to make a difference, but it can take money.

Alex DeMetrick reports nearly $4 million was awarded to towns and communities whose small ideas make life more livable.

Work on Pratt Street took a turn for the beautiful when rain gardens were added during construction. A grant made it possible, but first, it had to be practical.

“Take the extra time and a little bit of extra dollars, maybe from a grant like this, and make it green while you’re already opening up the street,” said Jana Davis, Chesapeake Bay Trust.

Now it’s their turn–34 recipients of the Green Street Project’s nearly $4 million in grants. Reservoir Hill is getting $58,000.

“This green grant program is going to help us do more. It’s going to help us take out more impervious surface, plant more trees,” said Teddy Krolik, Reservoir Hill Improvement Council.

It will hopefully slow urban stormwater runoff. Every time it rains, pollutants harmful to the Chesapeake wash off hard surfaces, feeding algae blooms that create dead zones in the bay. Big stormwater projects will cost tens of millions of dollars, but community based small ones:

“Are really helping to show how little, smaller incremental things add up to bigger benefits,” said Shawn Garvin, Mid-Atlantic EPA administrator.

These grants focus on improving more than the environment.

“This is enormous for us,” said Debbie Rowe, Marydel resident.

The small Eastern Shore town of Marydel’s $47,000 grant will increase runoff protection and livability.

“Go to the park and enjoy a nice walk with their family. And the elderly can sit, go under the tree and reminisce about the old times and watch the kids play,” said Rowe.

It will also improve the bay’s livability.

The grant money for the Green Street Project comes from federal, state and nonprofit funds.

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