City Wins State's Green Development Grant

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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City Wins State's Green Development Grant

Posted: 01/23/2009
The City of Knoxville has been awarded $10,000 for its new downtown dog park after being selected as one of the first four Tennessee cities to receive the state's new Green Development Grants.

The state Department of Environment and Conservation announced the winners of the competitive grants in a Thursday release.

The program grew out of a 2008 Green Development Conference sponsored by TDEC and the Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection that highlighted environmentally-sound building and development practices.

As a result of interest generated by the conference TDEC created the competitive grant program to help communities "fund projects implementing green infrastructure and low impact practices," which will deliver multiple benefits to their citizens, according to the TDEC release.

Knoxville will use its grant to help protect the water quality of First Creek by installing features designed to better control the flow of stormwater runoff at the new park. A low-impact infiltration trench along the border of the park will reduce runoff volume and additional trees and vegetation between the park and the creek will help prevent bacteria, pollutants and excessive nutrients from reaching the creek. 
"This project is particularly well-suited for the dog park because of the potential impact of pet waste on the already high pollution levels of nearby First Creek," said Madeleine Weil, deputy director of the city's Policy & Communications Department. "This grant will help us go above and beyond basic stormwater management requirements by employing effective and environmentally friendly methods that fit the city's goals to be more sustainable." 
"Ideally, these low-impact stormwater management techniques can become standard practice in Knoxville," she added.

Other cities chosen to receive the grants were Athens, Nashville and the City of Lakeland in Shelby County.

A total of 17 cities submitted proposals to TDEC which made its decision based on criteria ranging from benefits to water quality to encouraging other organizations, public and private, to undertake similar projects.

The city is in the process of developing the new dog park on a section of green space at the southeast corner of the intersection of Summit Hill Drive and Central Avenue. The city began exploring the idea to meet the needs of dog-owning downtown residents wanting a place for their dogs to exercise and socialize. 
"We're very pleased that the Department of Environment and Conservation selected our proposal and we will put these funds to good use," Weil said.