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Parks Dept. Sets Up Grant Program for 'Green' Initiatives

Money available for nonprofits, businesses and property owners looking to do their part to reduce stormwater runoff.

The city Parks Department, the steward of more than 1,700 urban greenspaces, is putting its money where its mouth is.

The agency recently announced that up to $4 million will be set aside for property owners, businesses and nonprofits that use "green" techniques to limit or eliminate stormwater runoff into the city's sewer system.

Building and landscaping practices eligible for grant funding include green roofs, rain gardens, bioswales and rainwater harvesting.

Despite millions spent on upgrading the city's sewers over the years, the system is often overwhelmed during periods of heavy rainfall—leading to the release of untreated sewage at critical overflow points such as the Gowanus Canal, as seen in this YouTube video taken after a storm in September 2010.

Eligible residents and business owners can apply online at nyc.gov/dep/grantprogram.

A workshop will be held at Brooklyn Borough Hall Courtroom at 209 Joralemon St., 2nd Floor, on Dec. 6. from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

For more info, contact the office of Councilwoman Letitia James at 212-788-7081.

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