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Green Infrastructure Bringing Nature Education, Stormwater Management to Church and School
by Kyla Donato
Tuesday Oct 13th, 2020 1:10 PM
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and Greenprint Partners recently announced the approval of two green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) grants for Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church and St. Thomas More School. The $2.69 investment will manage 2.2 million gallons of stormwater annually. Nature-based GSI will enhance the local community by delivering environmental, health, and economic benefits while also contributing to SFPUC’s goal of managing one billion gallons of stormwater by 2050.
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San Francisco, CA - San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and Greenprint Partners recently announced the approval of two green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) grants for Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church and St. Thomas More School. Together, these projects represent a $2.69 million investment to help optimize the use of finite water and energy resources and balance community and ecosystem needs. The projects will manage a combined 2.2 million gallons, or about 62,850 standard bathtubs, of stormwater runoff each year. Using nature-based GSI will enhance the local community by delivering environmental, health, and economic benefits while also contributing to SFPUC’s goal of managing one billion gallons of stormwater by 2050.

Planned improvements for St. Thomas More school include outdoor classroom expansion, rainwater reuse, permeable pavement, rain gardens, and educational gardens featuring fruit trees and vegetables. Students will gain a hands-on, up-close look at the water cycle. These improvements will also enhance the paved playground which doubles as a parking lot.

“We are committed to providing the very best learning environment for our students’ academic, spiritual, and social growth. Investing in the future starts with investing in the next generation, and we continue to do so each day at St. Thomas More School,” says St. Thomas More School Principal Marie Fitzpatrick. “St. Thomas More School is proud to contribute to SFPUC’s stormwater management goals and the surrounding community.”

Planned improvements for Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church include seven (7) rain gardens to enhance over 7,000 square feet, including parking lots and sidewalks. Diverted stormwater will be filtered by the new plants and help recharge the site’s groundwater. The rain gardens will also feature a variety of colors and textures throughout the year while providing habitat for pollinators and birds. These incoming natural improvements will help Holy Trinity extend its ministries to the greater community through environmental stewardship.

Parish Council President Nick Johnson noted, “Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church is excited about the water infrastructure program. Soon we will have the opportunity to conserve one of God’s blessings, which will assist us in maintaining the beauty of His home. This will contribute to our mission to grow our Church, live our Faith, and walk the world as Orthodox Christians.”

Greenprint Partners CEO April Méndez noted, “We are enthusiastic partners with SFPUC in bringing more green stormwater infrastructure to San Francisco. These sites are our first two projects on the West Coast and demonstrate our company’s commitment to delivering high impact GSI at scale and in partnership with the community.”

“We are still dealing with the fallout from a record drought in California, so it is important to recognize the value of water and use it responsibly,” said SFPUC Utility Specialist Sarah Minick. “Green stormwater infrastructure is one way that we can invest in our community, efficiently manage rainfall, and ease the burden on the City’s sewer system.”

Greenprint Partners is a green infrastructure delivery partner that helps cities achieve high-impact, community-driven stormwater solutions at scale. Our green infrastructure projects are designed to maximize community benefits, delivered at scale, and maintained for the long-term. Greenprint Partners is a women-owned, certified B-Corp. Additional information available at: greenprintpartners.com.

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is a department of the City and County of San Francisco. It delivers drinking water to 2.7 million people in the San Francisco Bay Area, collects and treats wastewater for the City and County of San Francisco, and generates clean power for municipal buildings, residents, and businesses. Our mission is to provide our customers with high quality, efficient and reliable water, power, and sewer services in a manner that values environmental and community interests and sustains the resources entrusted to our care. Learn more at http://www.sfwater.org.

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church was founded in 1904 as a multi-ethnic parish, characterized by the warmth of its people, true spirituality, and its vision set on the future. Our mission is to live our faith, grow the Church, and serve the world as Orthodox Christians.

St. Thomas More School Guided by Catholic values, St. Thomas More School is committed to educating each individual based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. We advocate academic excellence and inspire spiritual, intellectual and social growth. We prepare our diverse community of students to become citizens committed to service and stewardship.

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