City of Visalia Awarded $670,044 in Urban Greening Grants

The City of Visalia was awarded a total of $670,044 in Urban Greening grants from the California Strategic Growth Council.

The city was awarded a $466,544 grant for the St. Johns River Riparian Corridor Restoration Project to develop new community space with the conversion of commercial use to parkland with bike path connectors to other trail segments within the city. The project will incorporate the planting of native, drought-tolerant vegetation and bioswale (a manmade wetland that encourages water drainage) features.

The city was also awarded $203,500 for the Jennings Waterway Landscape and Trail Project to develop community space while preserving a stand of oak trees along Jennings Waterway. About two acres of native vegetation will be restored, creating a half-mile meandering trail that connects with the adjacent Mill Creek Trail.

The Urban Greening Grants establish or enhance community green areas such as urban forests, open spaces, wetlands and community gardens. “Not only do these grants result in plans and projects that make our communities more vibrant, but collectively these investments get us closer to meeting air quality and water conservation goals that are especially significant during this drought,” said Secretary for Natural Resources and SGC Member John Laird.

“The city has been very aggressive and successful in obtaining funding to enhance our community’s landscape,” said Mayor Steve Nelsen. “I commend the staff for their tireless efforts to bring these dollars to Visalia for the benefit of all citizens.”

The awards, from Proposition 84 funding, were announced last week. The California Strategic Growth Council awarded a total of $40.2 million in Sustainable Communities Planning Grants and Urban Greening Grants. Out of 184 concept proposals received for the Urban Greening Grant Program, 40 entities received awards totaling $24 million.

In 2006, California voters passed Proposition 84, the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act, which authorized the legislature to appropriate funds to support urban greening projects and sustainable community planning.

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