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Adding To New Sustainable DC Plans, District Gets Nearly $100,000 For Stormwater Initiative

Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray introducing Sustainable DC Plan initiatives. Photo courtesy of wusa9.com

As part of a package of grants totaling an estimated $400,000 to be distributed among several municipalities and nonprofit organizations around Maryland and Washington, D.C., the District will receive a grant of $95,000 to support stormwater management and green street development adjacent to the famed Dunbar Senior High School which is also being newly renovated.

The school’s roots date back to 1870, when it was founded as the “Preparatory High School for Colored Youth,” before being renamed the “M Street School.” With the re-opening of the school’s previous campus in 1916, it was renamed in honor of Paul Laurence Dunbar who was among the first African-American poet to ever gain national critical acclaim.

Dunbar’s works addressed African-Americans’ difficulties to achieve equality in America during the turn of the 20th century.  Dunbar was born on June 27, 1872 to Matilda and Joshua Dunbar, both natives of Kentucky. His mother was a former slave and his father had escaped from slavery and served in the 55th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment and the 5th Massachusetts Colored Cavalry Regiment during the Civil War.

The Dunbar school is known for its rigorous academic reputation. The grant announcements were made by Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray. The other six grants will include projects in Cambridge, Md., Prince George’s County, Md., Northumberland County, Pa., and Richmond, Va.

Each of the projects has been designed to improve water quality, increase efficiency, and promote environmental best practices. The grants are part of the Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns (G3) program, which is a public-private partnership supporting urban green infrastructure to improve watershed protection and community livability.

The G3 program is a collaborative effort that includes participants such as the Chesapeake Bay Trust, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

In Washington, D.C., the stormwater project will work in conjunction with the District’s newly passed Sustainable DC Plan. The 20-year plan – with targets set for 2032 – is designed to improve citywide health through measures including creating new green building infrastructure, transportation improvements, clean air regulations, new city gardens, and increased wetland protection and restoration.

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