Chizuk Amuno Congregation is a large synagogue in Baltimore County with about 1200 member families, and at least 200 additional unaffiliated school families. We have a large main campus of just over 22 acres, and aging facilities in need of costly repairs. There is no money in the budget for the mitigation of storm water runoff, so it will be imperative for us to seek funds from other sources in order to proceed.
In the summer and fall of 2012 we were one of the congregations participating in the IPC Small Watershed Action Plan program. During the Participatory Research phase we were given a very clear directive - 'achieve the greatest impact with the least amount of expenditure.' The home run would be to divert the runoff from the below grade drainage to cisterns for reuse but such an endeavor would be extremely expensive. Our driveway and parking lots are in need of repair, but the investment is more than we want to tackle at this time. Our Small Watershed Action Plan incorporates three bioretention systems plus the planting of trees, and will absorb the runoff from over two acres of impervious surface.
In August we successfully completed a Grant Request to the Chesapeake Bay Trust in the amount of approximately $40,000 which will allow us to proceed with the design of the three bioretention systems. Achieving this goal would not have been possible without the guidance and encouragement from Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, the Chesapeake Bay Trust, Blue Water Baltimore and Baltimore Co. DEPS. In November, the Grant Request results will be available.
We are a religious institution with a Pre-school, a Religious school, a Jewish Day School, and an Adult Education Center. One of our greatest challenges is to reach all of our stakeholders, and garner their participation in the process. Since we anticipate a large educational component to these projects, it is imperative that we receive input for our school professionals. The power point presentation is being utilized in our presentation to various groups in order to share our progress, and to request help as we move forward with this process.