A Partnership of Yes: Middle Rio Grande Partnership Works Stronger Together

The Middle Rio Grande faces unique urban challenges due to regional drought and competing water uses. To address these issues, the area was designated as an Urban Waters Federal Partnership location in 2013. From large redevelopment projects to smaller, unique projects—like the Mobile Pop-Up Park —the Partnership has worked together with the community to become a partnership of ‘yes’. As Mandy Griego, former Partnership co-lead, puts it: “We are stronger together.”

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Sharing in the Benefits of a Greening City

The guidelines in this toolkit created by The CREATE Initiative partners comes out of the question: “What does it look like to envision green spaces as sites through which to build a more equitable and just world?” Sharing in the … Continued

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Greening without Gentrification

The UCLA Institute of Environment and Sustainability and the University of Utah created the report, Greening without Gentrification, as an analysis of equitable development strategies being employed when large parks and green space are developed in marginalized neighborhoods. The report shares … Continued

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Community-Based Programs to Improve Water Quality

| Bronx, New York

The Bronx River Alliance, founded in 2001, is a non-profit organization that works with public and private partners to protect, improve, and restore the Bronx River. Providing a model for community-based watershed engagement, the Bronx River Alliance offers interconnected program … Continued

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Pathway to Parks & Affordable Housing Joint Development

Drawing on experiences of Transit Oriented Development, LA THRIVES and Los Angeles Regional Open Space and Affordable Housing (LA ROSAH) Coalition, created a report outlining five strategies that integrate urban greening (i.e. parks and green infrastructure investments) with affordable housing. … Continued

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Healthy Development without Displacement

This resource from the Prevention Institute addresses the question: “What can people working on “healthy community” issues—like active transportation, parks, healthy food, planning, public health, healthcare, and more—do in their own work to improve community conditions without contributing to gentrification … Continued

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Green Infrastructure and Health Guide

The guide was prepared by members of the Oregon Health and Outdoors Initiative—the Oregon Public Health Institute and the Willamette Partnership—in collaboration with the Green Infrastructure Leadership Exchange. The guide proposes green infrastructure solutions to improving prevalent health issues in … Continued

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Groundwork Richmond: Greening the Urban Landscape

Groundwork Richmond, established in 2010, is one of 20 Trusts within the Groundwork USA network. The organization plays an integral role in developing the greenway, greening the urban landscape, engaging the community, and educating youth. Environmental justice is also central to Groundwork Richmond’s programs, which benefit both the environment and the local community. Groundwork Richmond has formed strong partnerships with local organizations and agencies to provide meaningful job training and workforce development to build the Richmond Greenway and enhance urban forestry.

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Parks with Purpose: Community Driven Green Infrastructure

Through their Parks with Purpose program, The Conservation Fund and partner organizations are designing and implementing green infrastructure in underserved urban communities while engaging and training residents to make way for lasting change.

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Proctor Creek Watershed: Green Infrastructure That Benefits Community & Environment

In 2013, the Proctor Creek Watershed was designated by the EPA as an Urban Waters Federal Partnership location, with goals to engage the community while improving water quality, providing green spaces, and supporting green infrastructure. The Conservation Fund was awarded an EPA Urban Waters Small Grant in 2016 to work with residents and multiple organizations of the Proctor Creek Watershed to create green infrastructure solutions that benefit the community and the environment.

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Urban Nature for Human Health and Well Being

This report provides the latest research on the social, health, and economic benefits of urban green space, with an emphasis on tree canopies. Research shows that more trees and green space in urban areas directly reduce pollution, reduce heat, encourage exercise and related health, lower stress, and improve longevity among residents.

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Gentrification and Residential Mobility in Philadelphia

By focusing on Philadelphia and comparing this city’s mobility rates with other gentrification and displacement studies, it becomes evident that the effects of gentrification are extremely complex and can affect populations in a variety of ways depending on income level and other demographics. 

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The Emerald Necklace: Connecting the Mountains to the Sea

The San Gabriel River drains a 713-mile watershed in the San Gabriel Mountains, flowing as far south as Long Beach, where it enters Alamitos Bay as a tidal river. It shares its watershed with two other major rivers: the Los Angeles and the Santa Ana.

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Youth Engagement on the Rio Grande: A Refuge for the Neighborhood

| Taos, NM

The Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, located in the South Valley of Albuquerque, New Mexico, is the first US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) refuge in the Southwest to be designated an “urban refuge.” With funding from the US EPA Urban Waters Program, Amigos Bravos partnered with area organizations to engage youth directly in water quality monitoring in the Rio Grande and adjacent irrigation ditches. Many of the youth had never seen the river before, much less interacted with it.

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Albuquerque youth learn about stormwater and watershed health

Groundwork Elizabeth: Reconnecting the City and the River

| Elizabeth, NJ

The long-term vision for the Elizabeth River Trail project in Elizabeth, New Jersey is to connect people with the natural environment in the most densely populated region of the country. Through signage and service learning events, residents and visitors will learn about ecological restoration plans for the river and become environmental stewards of this valuable resource. Ultimately, the trail will tie into the regional network of greenways already established and under construction.

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Groundwork Elizabeth Green Team students use a recently installed lookout point to view the Elizabeth River. Photo: Groundwork Elizabeth.

Reclaiming Urban Waterways—Daylighting the Saw Mill River

Few environmental projects focus community attention as dramatically as those that seek to create (or retrieve) parks and trails along urban waterways. The Groundwork network has achieved significant success on such projects, including the Saw Mill River Daylighting Park in Yonkers, NY; the Spicket River Greenway in Lawrence, MA; the Elizabeth River Greenway in Elizabeth, NJ; and the Mill Creek Greenway in Cincinnati.

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Centennial Creek Restoration Project

Centennial Creek, a tributary of the Salinas River, begins east of the City of Paso Robles, California and flows into the Salinas River on the west side of town. The Salinas River flows into the Monterrey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. This is significant because any improvements made to Centennial Creek, though miles away, will positively impact the marine sanctuary.

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Environmental Justice for South Wilmington, Delaware

Flooding in South Wilmington neighborhood is a severe and well documented issue. South Wilmington is situated in a 100-year flood plain and surrounded on three sides by the Christina River. Knowing the extent of these issues, the City of Wilmington applied for and received funding in 2013 to repurpose three brownfields sites into a wetlands park in order to alleviate flooding.

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2015 Rogue Estuary Strategic Plan

A strategic plan to guide restoration, enhancement, and conservation efforts in the estuary and its tributaries; emphasizing wetlands, floodplain connectivity, off-channel habitat, and water quality. Download this resource

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Addressing Baltimore’s Vacant Land Problem

Baltimore, Maryland, home to over 30,000 vacant and abandoned lots and numerous economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, is also home to some of the most innovative job creation strategies and vacant lot reclamation projects in the nation.

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Vacant Lots to Greenways in Kansas City

Heartland Conservation Alliance (HCA) was created as an alliance of diverse partners who share a vision and work collectively to conserve natural areas, connect people to nature and convene partners. Their mission is creating multiple benefits for people by focusing on projects that save Kansas City’s valuable natural resources and give them back to benefit the community—“ecological democracy.”

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Connecting Residents to Village Creek

| Birmingham, AL

Village Creek, which flows through the heart of Birmingham, was once considered one of the most polluted streams in Alabama. Today, thanks to the Freshwater Land Trust, and with significant support from the U.S. EPA, there is new hope. The Freshwater Land Trust has gathered together community, non-profit, city and business leaders who are working together to transform Village Creek into a community asset.

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Transforming Mill Creek

| Cincinnati, OH

Twenty years ago, in some inner-city stretches of Mill Creek, the only living things you could find were blood worms, sludge worms, and leeches. In the summertime, fish kills were common. Carp that ventured into the stream from the Ohio River would flop onto the stream banks and die. Many species of aquatic and terrestrial wildlife
vanished from the river corridor for over 100 years because their habitat and food sources had been destroyed by intense urbanization.

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