Plaster Creek Stewards receives $1M restoration grant

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Courtesy Calvin University

A recent watershed restoration grant will help revitalize an urban creek in Kent County.

Calvin University’s Plaster Creek Stewards (PCS) received a two-year grant totaling $1,018,251 from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) to assist with continued restoration of Plaster Creek.

Founded in 2009, PCS is a collaborative of university faculty, staff and students working with community partners to improve the urban stream’s watershed.

The new funds will allow PCS to implement a major floodplain project. PCS said it also will expand its urban curb-cut rain garden project and support multiple students to assist in the installation, management and research of these efforts.

“Over the past 13 years, we’ve gotten to see Grand Rapids grow as a green stormwater project hot spot,” said Andrea Lubberts, program manager at PCS. “The fact we got this grant is a big deal. We are the most competitive city in Michigan when it comes to getting stormwater funding. We have great partners, we work together, we make each other better.”

Over the years, PCS received more than 20 grants totaling over $5 million in funding.

Results from the grant projects include the transformation of more than 50 acres of watershed land into natural habitat, the installation of 120 curb-cut rain gardens, and the improvement of floodplains to mitigate flooding and erosion downstream.

PCS is working to revitalize the health and beauty of the watershed through education, research and on-the-ground restoration.

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