Clad in work boots and thick gloves, Nikita F. Floyd looked proudly at the nondescript patch of grass he had transformed into a sustainable storm water management project adorned with catmint and dogwood.
Before, polluted runoff from the adjacent parking lot or building roofs would have soaked through the grass and, eventually, crept into the Chesapeake Bay. Now, a type of soil designed to filter toxins and chemicals from the water stops just that, and the space has gone from an eyesore to a manicured beauty.
“I won’t be famous, but I will feel like I’ve done my part,” said Floyd, president and owner of Green Forever Landscaping and Design.
Green Forever was one of the first seven to participate in Prince George’s Clean Water Partnership, which aims to retrofit up to 2,000 acres of impervious surfaces in the Maryland suburb with green infrastructure.
The partnership is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between the county government and the private-sector company Corvias Solutions, officials say.
Launched in 2015 to meet clean-water regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency, the partnership manages more than 120 construction projects in the county and through its Mentor Protege Program coaches small, minority and disadvantaged businesses to become competitive and successful bidders for storm water management projects.