What’s happening in 2023: Project highlights

What’s happening in 2023: Project highlights

There will be a lot of action in 2023! Here are highlights of some of the projects, planning and programs that will be kicking off next year. We invite you to share your thoughts, ideas or resources on any of the projects.

Community Water Infrastructure Program/ ARPA

A local partnership involving Kansas City, Mo., Jackson County Parks, Heartland Conservation Alliance, Bridging The Gap, Deep Roots and MARC was awarded a Community Water Infrastructure Grant funded with Missouri’s American Rescue Plan Act funds. This project seeks to restore 200-270 acres of riparian habitat along the Blue River, restore green infrastructure in three nodes along the Blue River corridor (Blue River Park, Blue Valley Park, and the Municipal Farm, as well as the restoration of a 9-acre wetland in Alex George Wetland Park), and plant 2,000-2,500 trees in neighborhoods and business districts adjacent to the corridor. Work will be led by the Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation Department.

Urban Heat Island Workgroup

Several stakeholders involved in urban heat island research and mitigation, including Kansas City, Mo., Evergy, MARC, UMKC, KU, Bridging the Gap, Building Energy Exchange KC, ICF, Missouri Office of Public Counsel and others, have convened to discuss research work and programming to date. Recent conversations have led to the conclusion that a Cool Cities plan may be needed to guide a coordinated effort on urban heat mitigation and adaptation for the Kansas City region. As this planning process unfolds, it will put communities impacted by urban heat at the center through data ground truthing, storytelling and leading the identification of solutions that can help alleviate suffering in the short-term, and overtime, reduce urban heat born by the built environment.

Carbon Reduction Program

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law established the Carbon Reduction Program (CRP), which provides funds for projects designed to reduce emissions, defined as CO2, from on-road transportation sources. Beginning this year, MARC will receive nearly $4.7 million per year for five years which will be programmed to local projects in the region. A working group of transportation stakeholders has met to consider how the programming process might unfold. Discussions are still in the works, but project ideas are already sprouting up. In spring of 2023, MARC will launch a call for applications from local governments. A list of eligible projects can be found here.

Bi-State Sustainable Reinvestment Corridor /Raise Grant

MARC received a $5,6 million Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability & Equity (RAISE) Grant for the Bi-State Sustainable Reinvestment Corridor project. The Bi-State Sustainable Reinvestment Corridor is a regional project that will connect three major cities in two states and two counties by planning for a 24-mile zero-emission regional transit route, including improved access to housing, health care, employment and education for citizens in each city and surrounding area. MARC seeks to use this project to raise the bar on community engagement and corridor planning, and replicate the process in other major corridors in the future.

Mow Electric! Rebate Program

Next spring, the MARC Air Quality Program will launch a new pilot program that will provide rebates to individuals who scrap and recycle their gas-powered mower and purchase a new electric version. The program will be available to households in Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas and Platte, Clay and Jackson counties in Missouri. While anyone can take advantage of the rebates, the program will focus on households in pollution-burdened, environmental justice communities through strategic marketing and by hosting one-stop mower-swap out events in these communities in partnership with local metal recycling companies and lawn mower retailers. Watch out for more details this coming spring!

Ideas, expressions of interest, or questions? Email us!