Two local environmental organizations—The Point Community Development Corp. and the Bronx River Alliance– have received $50,000 each from the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Environmental Justice Grants Program.
The Point will use the funds to help it build a green roof on its Garrison Avenue community center. Water-retaining plants will be planted in shallow soil on the roof of the building, built as a warehouse for the BankNote building.
The plantings will keep rainwater from flowing into the sewers and overwhelming the sewage treatment plant, and will help keep the building cool in summer and warm in winter, cutting down on energy use.
The Point plans as well to make use of the roof in its environmental education programs and to involve young people from the area in maintaining it.
The Bronx River Alliance will also use its grant for environmental education, spending the money to develop and support of environmental science curricula and water quality monitoring along the Lower Bronx River.
The two were the only Bronx organizations to win the award. Nine other New York City neighborhood-based nonprofits will share grants ranging from $5,180 to $50,000. They were chosen from 123 applicants statewide.
The state program concentrates on communities that are overburdened by such problems as industrial emissions; a concentration of contaminated sites; disproportionate noise, air and water pollution; environmental health problems and lack of green space and waterfront access.