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.
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)
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
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!
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 http://chesapeakestormwater.net/wp-content/uploads/dlm_uploads/2013/04/Homeowner-Guide.pdf.
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