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EPA Selects Maryland Anacostia Eco-Garden Project for $176,529 Sustainable Development Challenge Grant

Release Date: 5/11/1999
Contact Information: Donna M. Heron (215) 814-5113

LANDOVER, Md. -- The Prince George’s County Department of Environmental Resources, Landover, Md. is one of 41 projects nationwide selected for funding under the EPA’s Sustainable Development Challenge Grant program.

Now in its third year, the challenge grants provide seed money to encourage creative local approaches and cooperation to improve the environment. It fosters community partnerships among citizens, non-profit organizations, government and business.

In 1998, $5 million was allocated to promote sustainable development projects throughout the U.S. Across the nation, 656 proposals were submitted requesting a total of $82 million. In Region III, 73 proposals were submitted and four were selected for funding.

The Anacostia Eco-Garden Project will develop an existing vacant lot, located near the waterfront of Bladensburg, into an eco-garden, nursery, community demonstration, education and compost center, landscape and maintenance business and job training program. The project will include wetland and stream restoration and a reduction of water pollution from runoff.

The eco-garden site will become home to a future visitor’s center presenting environmental facts about the Anacostia River and historical information about the town. This is just one part of an overall plan that includes small business development, employment training and placement, landscape beautification, ecological and historical tourism and environmental restoration of the Anacostia River and watershed.

Three other sustainable development grants were awarded in EPA Region III -- to the Greensgrow Philadelphia Project for urban farming at a remediated brownfield site; to the Sustainable Community Initiatives in Washington, DC for job training; and the Lightstone Foundation, Inc., Moyers, W. Va., for support of sustainable family farming, natural resources management and rural development.

Once these grants are finalized, the EPA’s Sustainable Development Challenge Grant program will have funded 96 projects totalling $10.5 million.

Information about the Sustainable Development Challenge Grant Program, including the 41 new awards, can be obtained at: A new request for proposals for the 1999/2000 program will be announced this summer.