Staunton gets $209K river-restoration grant
American Rivers and the Environmental Protection Agency today announced that a creek restoration project in Staunton will receive a $209,244 grant, as part of a comprehensive initiative to protect and restore rivers in the Potomac Highlands region. The grant will help the City of Staunton implement its project to restore Peyton Creek.
Peyton Creek serves as part of a corridor connecting Gypsy Hill Park, one of Staunton’s large urban parks, with the Staunton Public Library. Together, the water, trees, and walkways form a civic promenade between two important public destinations, ultimately connecting southward to Staunton’s central downtown districts. However, Peyton Creek suffers from storm-related localized flooding during rain storms, which is exacerbated by the large amount of impervious paved surfaces within the watershed. This contributes to increased polluted runoff and downstream pollution.
The City of Staunton and its partners will restore the creek by re-establishing the floodplain with native vegetation throughout the system, removing a culvert in Gypsy Hill Park, daylighting a buried section of the stream at Gypsy Hill Place, and creating a rain garden to better manage runoff along North Central Avenue. These activities will improve water quality, encourage 21st century redevelopment, and beautify the Staunton community.
“This grant allows American Rivers to not only have a tremendous impact on the health of the region’s rivers and clean water, but also on economic prosperity and quality of life,” said Chris Williams, senior vice president for conservation at American Rivers. “We congratulate the City of Staunton on their hard work and innovative ideas, and we look forward to seeing the many benefits to clean water and people. We hope this project inspires other communities and can be replicated across the region and the nation.”
“The City of Staunton is pleased to be awarded this significant grant for Restoring Staunton’s Peyton Creek,” said Staunton Mayor Lacy King. “The project will further enhance the natural beauty of this entryway to our historic downtown as well as maximize the effectiveness of all of the elements of the City’s infrastructure, both built and green, by emphasizing the importance of the integration of natural and built resources in urban environments.”
American Rivers is implementing the EPA grant program that awards local, innovative solutions to benefit clean water and local economies. A total of $1,373,119 is being awarded to six projects to protect rivers and clean water in the Potomac Highlands region of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. The Highlands region is the headwaters of the Potomac River, which flows through the nation’s capital. The region’s forests and streams provide rich habitat for fish, wildlife, and plants, as well as increasingly popular recreation and tourism destinations. Many of the region’s streams have been damaged by harmful logging, mining, dams, and other development, but opportunities abound for river restoration and revitalization.