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June 2022

Centro de Apoyo Familiar Connects Latino and Immigrant Communities with Prince George’s County Resources and Programs

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Stormwater runoff is rain or melted snow that runs off surfaces such as parking lots and roofs and flows across the land into storm drains and waterways. As the runoff flows, it picks up and carries with it pollutants like pet waste and litter that negatively impacts our rivers and can have harmful effects on human health.

Prince George’s County, MD has many strategies to address stormwater management issues in the County. Some of these efforts include educating community members about stormwater issues and providing resources for homeowners to install small-scale practices on their property that can help alleviate stormwater runoff at their home.

To help support the County’s efforts, Centro de Apoyo Familiar, or Center for Assistance to Families (CAF), received grant awards in 2017, 2018, and 2021 through the Prince George’s County Stormwater Stewardship Grant Program to conduct their Aguas Sanas Familias Sanas (Healthy Waters Healthy Families) program. This program engages and trains Latino church promotoras (community health promoters) to be stormwater leaders in their community. After the promotoras receive training, they then lead workshops to educate residents on local environmental issues, ways to address these issues, and County resources and programs.

One program in particular that CAF highlighted during these trainings was the Prince George’s County Rain Check Rebate Program. This program provides an opportunity for homeowners, businesses, and others to help reduce stormwater runoff in the County and improve local waterways. Through the Rain Check Rebate Program, eligible applicants can receive a reimbursement for installing stormwater practices, like rain barrels, on their property. These stormwater practices help reduce stormwater runoff and its impacts.

To educate the promotoras and community members on this topic, CAF developed presentations and educational materials in Spanish for the training sessions. CAF provided these materials to the promotoras for distribution during workshops with community members. The promotoras participated in two training sessions to learn about stormwater, how it impacts their communities, and how community members can reduce its impact by installing rain barrels and other practices through the Prince George’s County Rain Check Rebate Program.

In 2017

CAF partnered with five churches in Prince George’s County, listed below, to participate in the program. Each church selected a member to act as the promotora, who were then trained by CAF. After the training, the promotoras held a combined total of eight workshops. These workshops engaged a total of 225 families.

  • Casa Hogar Benditos De Mi Padre
  • Iglesia De Dios De La Profecia Nuevo Pacto
  • Iglesia Resturacion
  • Love Without Borders Ministry
  • Ministerio Internacional Evangelico (MIES)

In 2018

CAF partnered with the three churches listed below. The trained promotoras from these churches held workshops that engaged 141 Latino families and provided technical assistance to those interested in applying for the Rain Check Rebate Program.

  • Casa de Restauracion Hispana
  • Centro Cristiano Vida Mueva
  • Ministerio Edificando la Familia

In 2021

CAF partnered with the five churches listed below. CAF trained the promotoras from the churches, who held a combined total of six workshops. These workshops engaged 172 families in the community.

  • Casa de Restauracion
  • Iglesia Acts
  • Iglesia con Poder De Lo Alto
  • Iglesia Restauración Lanham
  • Washington Ghanaian SDA Church

Every year, the results of post-workshop surveys showed an increase in knowledge and interest in how attendees could better protect their environment and help manage stormwater in their day-to-day life. Participants found the workshop to be informative and helped to open their eyes to issues they did not know about prior to the workshop. For example, participants learned how stormwater runoff can cause temporary flooding in their community and how common household pollutants get into local waterways.

Thank you to Centro de Apoyo Familiar for all you do to engage Latino and immigrant communities in environmental stewardship!

To read more about the 2017 project, click here and to learn more about the 2018 project, click here.

Learn about the ways you can help manage stormwater runoff while also beautifying your property by viewing the Chesapeake Stormwater Network’s Homeowner Guide for a More Bay-Friendly Property at

If you live in Prince George’s County, learn how you can participate in the Rain Check Rebate Program by clicking the button below.

Learn more about the Rain Check Rebate Program

Over $1 Million Announced to Support Green Infrastructure Projects to Improve Communities in MD, PA, VA, and WV

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Borough of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania – The Chesapeake Bay Trust, in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection announce that $1,058,720 in funding has been awarded to 13 projects across Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia as part of the Chesapeake Bay Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns Grant Program. These awards help communities develop and implement plans that reduce stormwater runoff; increase the amount of green spaces in urban areas; improve the health of local rivers, streams, the Chesapeake Bay and the human populations within the communities; create “green jobs;” reduce energy use; and enhance livability in cities and communities.

“We congratulate all grantees for putting forth projects that will support clean water and strong neighborhoods,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz. “This program helps communities reinvigorate gray and green infrastructure projects that reduce stormwater runoff and pollution to local waters and the Chesapeake Bay, while improving their economy, quality of life and community beautification.”

This green infrastructure program is designed to facilitate and encourage communities implementing traditional “gray” infrastructure projects, such as repaving roads or reconfiguring intersections, to add green elements at little additional cost. These green elements then offer cost-effective savings on stormwater treatment, flooding abatement, and other community benefits.

“The projects announced today show the value of adding green stormwater elements when other infrastructure improvements are planned,” said Alana Hartman, West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Potomac Basin Coordinator. “These projects, led by communities and local organizations, will serve as a model for the entire region while helping to protect, preserve and enhance the quality of our water resources in the South Branch of the Potomac and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.”

The Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns Initiative was started in 2011, led by water experts at EPA and then expanded into the program it is today. To date, 245 projects have received funding and $14.4 million has been invested into greening communities.

Greening local communities has been shown to have multiple human benefits, from savings on energy costs that hit the wallet via provision of shade to reduction of illnesses to reduction in crime.  Studies show that time spent outdoors in green spaces leads to improved mental health, reduced absenteeism in employees, improved heart health, and more.

“Green infrastructure projects are one of those rare win-win-win scenarios:  They improve communities in various ways, they improve human health, and they also benefit our waterways,” said Dr. Jana Davis, president of the Chesapeake Bay Trust. “This program lets us take advantage of projects that communities want to do for themselves that just also happen to benefit the larger natural system way downstream.”


Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns Grant Program Awardees

Borough of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania – $150,000
A project that will directly reduce stormwater runoff into the Conococheague Creek, reduce associated flooding in the immediate area, address bank stabilization, and implement green infrastructure components.  Major enhancements to the area include the reduction of Hood Street flooding; the installation of sub-surface infiltration beds to manage stormwater; the planting of pollinator gardens; and the removal of invasive species and planting native riparian buffers.

City Neighbors Foundation, Baltimore, Maryland – $148,883
A complete green renovation of the City Neighbors Charter parking lot, located in NE Baltimore City.  Installations include 1270 sq. ft. of micro-bioretention, 1679 sq. ft. of pervious paving, and a 105 sq. ft. rain garden, all of which will be open for exploration by students, their families, and the general public.

City of Romney, West Virginia – $118,555
A water filtration project to be located in Romney, West Virginia that will be funded through new program partner, West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. The project will retrofit a large parking lot and adjoining streets with water filtering bioswales.  Runoff will be filtered from 3.3 acres of drainage area, 0.85 acres of which is impervious.  The filtration system will address the issue of unfiltered runoff into a nearby stream which flows less than one mile into the South Branch of the Potomac River.

Druid Heights Community Development Corporation, Baltimore, Maryland – $29,998
An engineering design to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff going into the Jones Falls watershed and the Chesapeake Bay. The design will create a community-envisioned greening plan that will incorporate trees, bioswales, and other stormwater management facilities. The design will be created with the residents as part of their overall vision for the West Baltimore neighborhood.

James River Association, Petersburg, Virginia – $118,146
The implementation of a critical component of green and gray infrastructure for the Lakemont community which will better manage stormwater and improve local water quality. The proposed Nash Street Grassy Swale project represents a continued commitment to implement infrastructure improvements for Lakemont which will enhance existing conditions, reduce the volume of stormwater runoff, and treat water quality.

Joe’s Movement Emporium/World Arts Focus, Mount Rainier, Maryland – $150,000
The implementation of stormwater management practices at Joe’s arts center, as part of “Story of Water and Art.” Stormwater management features – green roof, vertical rain gardens, and green roof demonstration unit – will resolve flooding issues around the urban property, and be integrated with native plants, educational signage, a mural, and outdoor program space.

ShoreRivers, Preston, Maryland – $24,122
A design of conservation improvements to the James T. Wright Memorial Park, adding bioswales to alleviate overly-saturated conditions, tree canopy to beautify and cool community gathering areas, and conservation meadows to enhance the beauty of the park and increase pollinator habitat.

The Community Ecology Institute, Columbia, Maryland – $108,650
The implementation of the engineered plans associated with Atholton high school, which will provide highly visible demonstrations of best management practices, achieve health benefits for the Middle Patuxent Watershed, address chronic neighborhood stormwater flooding, and provide an outdoor education space for the school community.

Town of Emmitsburg, Maryland – $121,400
The installation of a forebay and micropool with pilot channels and wetland area within the existing dry extended detention pond footprint to provide water quality controls for the 7.96-acres of impervious area while also providing water quantity controls for the 22.22-acre drainage area without increasing discharge flow rates.

Town of Galena, Maryland – $30,000
An engineered design plan that identifies potential solutions to address stormwater runoff that causes localized flooding in the area of Division Street and a parking area behind a local grocery store and delicatessen. Along with using green infrastructure practices such as bioretention, green infrastructure will be utilized to help improve the flow of traffic in and through the area as well to screen adjoining properties.

Town of Glen Echo, Maryland – $28,271
The design of two stormwater remediation projects, a rain garden at Town Hall and a swale in the right of way, that will address town flooding issues.

Town of Millington, Maryland – $9,995
A concept plan to treat stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces, environmental restoration, and pervious parking enhancements, while improving public access and opportunities via a kayak launch and shoreline improvements to the properties owned by the Town along the Chester River.

Watershed Alliance of York, York and Lancaster Counties, Pennsylvania – $20,700
A two-part workshop and repeatable workshop template that will focus on the responsibilities of Homeowner Associations (HOAs) in York and Lancaster counties for their stormwater management infrastructure. One important deliverable will be a template that groups such as watershed organizations can use to easily plan and conduct this workshop/charrette in counties throughout the Bay watershed.

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