Santa Monica News
Urban Greening Grants For Santa Monica
By Sami Mello
Apr 3, 2013 - 11:09:40 AM

SANTA MONICAThe city is seeking new funds that will help transform its urbanized areas into green machines. On March 19, council members applied for a $700,000 grant from California’s Urban Greening Program to accumulate finances for the Expo Bikeway Greening and Marine Park Wash projects.  

The goal of the new projects is to improve public health, water quality and to protect natural resources, by “greening” urbanized areas, in order to create sustainable environments and more viable communities throughout California.

According to city staff, the projects will help the city of Santa Monica reduce its contributions to global warming by increasing its adaptability to climate change.
Expo Bikeway. Photo courtesy of Bicycle Fixation/Flickr

The project will help maintain California’s natural beauty by appropriating funds to preserve and enhance green areas around the city, such as urban forests, wetlands and open spaces. New community gardens will also be installed.

The Bikeway, located between 17th Street and Cloverfield Boulevard along the future expo light rail is planned to connect downtown Los Angeles with Santa Monica.  It is expected to be used by commuters and recreational users. The Wash is located near the east side of Marine Park at the end of 16th and 17th Streets.

Both projects are expected to feature, “native climate-appropriate plants and low-volume irrigation landscapes, stormwater harvesting and use, educational signage and recreational enhancements,” according to the city council report from March 19. 

These projects are developed to improve landscape by installing new irrigation systems that will capture runoff to be used in watering green areas.

Several different landscapes, modeled after seven Mediterranean-style ecosystems, will be planted along the Wash banks. The city will then use Los Angeles’ Penmar stormwater harvesting project to provide irrigation to Marine Park. Several new pedestrian paths will also be installed. 

Plans for developing green ecosystems were put in place back in 2006 when Proposition 84 was passed. Prop 84 has allowed state legislature to set aside $70 million for urban greening projects to reduce energy consumption, conserve water and improve air and water quality in California.

If Santa Monica’s application is approved,  they will be rewarded with aid to help fund its projects. The grant application approval process will conclude in the summer of 2014 and all projects must be completed by summer 2016.

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