Urban Watershed Stewardship Grant Funds Garden Spaces Across San Francisco

The SFPUC recently awarded Urban Watershed Stewardship Grants to two local nonprofits: Climate Action Now and San Francisco Parks Alliance.

Each year, the SFPUC’s Urban Watershed Stewardship Grant provides funding for community-based projects which help manage stormwater using ecologically based designs known as “green infrastructure (GI)”.   GI is a set of engineered, sustainable stormwater management tools that slow down, clean, and route stormwater to keep it from overwhelming the City’s combined sewer system, which collects and treats stormwater in addition to sanitary sewage.

The grant program is a partnership with the City’s Community Challenge Grant Program: “The Urban Watershed Stewardship Grant is based on the idea that small actions by community members can add up to large benefits for San Francisco’s neighborhoods, watersheds and sewer infrastructure.” said, Kelly Teter, Watershed Planner for the SFPUC, “We’re very excited for Climate Action Now and SF Parks Alliance to implement green infrastructure projects in our communities.”

Climate Action Now received a grant for implementing a stormwater management project at Leonard Flynn Elementary School, which will remove 2,000 square feet of impermeable pavement, create multiple garden spaces with native plantings, and utilize a rainwater harvesting system for water reuse to irrigate the school’s green landscape. Climate Action Now and the Leonard Flynn Elementary School faculty are planning to start working on the project this fall This project will provide essential natural spaces for the students to enjoy, provide beneficial native habitat, and help reduce the amount of stormwater impacting San Francisco’s combined sewer system. 

San Francisco’s Parks Alliance received a grant to develop the City’s first Stormwater Parklet. The project will be located on Moss Street, between Folsom Street and Howard Street in San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood. This project will tie in with the Community Challenge Grant funded “Moss Metamorphosis” project which seeks to transform the alley into a community hub. The stormwater parklet will integrate bioretention planters, permeable paving and rainwater harvesting into the newly utilized pedestrian space providing placemaking benefits and an educational hub for visitors to learn about stormwater management in a visual and creative way.

Combined, these two projects, will remove roughly 6,000 square feet of concrete and be replaced with a combination of greenspace, permeable pavement and bioretention planters.