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Grand Forks awarded $50,000 for Community Green Project

Fargo, ND – Grand Forks has been awarded a 50-thousand dollar grant specifically for the Community Green Project--a portion of the Greenway being developed along the Red River in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks.

Kevin Dean--the Public Information Officer for Grand Forks--says the Community Green was selected for this grant because it's being funded locally. He says the 2000-acre portion of the Greenway being developed this year is very close to downtown Grand Forks.

"What they're going to be putting in are some gardens and some trail connections from the newly constructed town square area. And there's going to be a flood obelisk that will serve to tell about the story of the flood and the river heights that have been reached in recorded history. And there'll be some terracing and some trails and all of that."

Dean says the concept is to develop a recreational area that can be used by both residents and visitors. He says one of the lessons learned after the flood of 1997 was living and conducting business cannot be done as close to the river as it was before.

"It's not a matter of whether or not it's going to flood, it's a matter of how high it's going to flood--depending on precipitation over the winter and so forth. So what we've done instead is we've developed this Greenway--this area where there can be nature trails, where their can be gardens, allowing us to enjoy nature but also respecting the river and keeping us a safe distance from it. If the river happens to get high and the Greenway happens to become flooded--that's not as big of a problem as if homes and businesses flood and so forth."

Dean says the grant will help reduce the amount of local funds that will be needed for construction and development of the project. Former Grand Forks Mayor Mike Polovitz--who's also the Grand Forks County's representative on the Garrison Diversion Conservancy District Recreation Committee--assisted
the Greenway staff in identifying the Community Green for the grant.