Coachella Announces Virtual Groundbreaking of a $5.34 million Grapefruit Boulevard Urban Greening Connectivity Project
COACHELLA – The city of Coachella will hold a virtual groundbreaking ceremony Friday, Feb.. 5 at 8:30 a.m. for the Grapefruit Boulevard Urban Greening and Connectivity Project located on Grapefruit Boulevard from Leoco Lane to Ninth Street.
“We are excited to be breaking ground on this very important project for our Downtown Pueblo Viejo District,” Mayor Steven Hernandez said. “This will not only assist the city in reducing greenhouse gases via carbon sequestration but by also providing shade to local business, thus reducing energy consumption by keeping these businesses cooler throughout the day.”
Hernandez went on to say that, “This area is a known flood-prone area, so by adding Bioswales with a 220,000-gallon storm water retention will go a long way when our arid landscape can’t absorb a monsoon or when a microburst storm occurs. So, as you can see, it’s not only good for the environment but it’s good for business too.”
This $5.34 million climate resiliency project was granted $3.19 million, which was the largest award in the state in October 2019 by the State of California’s Natural Resources Agency’s Urban Greening Programs. The grant was one of 20 infrastructure projects funded by Cap-and-Trade revenues also known as the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. Additional funding of $1.37 million was provided by the Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG) will assist in street widening and $250,000 was provided by California Department of Housing and Community Development for traffic signal improvements.
The Grapefruit Boulevard Urban Greening and Connectivity project improvements will use elements that mimic natural systems by planting 288 trees along Grapefruit Boulevard that will constitute a valuable urban and community forest resource that contributes significantly to human health and quality of life.
Beyond aesthetic value and social well-being, the trees provide essential ecosystem services to clean the air, protect and clean water, support biodiversity, shelters businesses from the blistering summer heat while assisting in conserving energy. The trees and plants will soften harsh lines of the city streetscape and help moderate temperatures and solar radiation for pedestrian and bicyclists.
“I am thrilled to see our concerted regional efforts and persistence in Sacramento pay off in millions of dollars of new public health and infrastructure investments for our community,” said Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia. “This Urban Greening Grant is a result of years of legislative advocacy to increase our district’s competitiveness and ensure that underserved, environmentally vulnerable areas like ours receive our fair share of California Climate Investments. I commend Mayor Hernandez and city of Coachella leaders for their focused pursuit of these state grants towards achieving their bold and strategic vision for a healthier, improved, and more sustainable downtown.”
For those who would like to attend the virtual event, tune into the city’s Facebook Live broadcast on Friday, Feb. 5 at 8:30 a.m. by clicking here.
- Steven Hernandez: City of Coachella
- Eduardo Garcia: Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia