Green Infrastructure Practices Offer Visitors New Educational Opportunities in the Finger Lakes Region
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the grand opening of the $1.4 million Regional Green Infrastructure Showcase at the Rochester Museum & Science Center. The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council supported the green infrastructure project through its Green Innovation Grant Program, which provided $1.25 million from the Environmental Facilities Corporation. In addition, the Rochester Museum & Science Center, along with a number of generous contributors, provided $138,964 in funding.
"This project opens doors to new educational opportunities by offering hands-on activities that allow visitors of all ages to learn the importance of clean and green technologies," Governor Cuomo said. "This administration is committed to these new innovative technologies as they support the sustainability of our communities, educate New York’s next generation on how to incorporate these practices into their every day life, and protect our environment for years to come."
The Rochester Museum & Science Center project was supported by the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council through the Green Innovation Grant Program to assist with the installation of multiple green practices, including rainwater harvesting, pervious pavement, a green roof, and bioretention. In combination, these practices reduce stormwater runoff and provide the community with an educational resource on the benefits of green infrastructure practices in the Finger Lakes Region.
“I applaud the Rochester Museum and Science Center for their vision and commitment to both implementing green strategies, and also educating the public on their real benefits,” said Lieutenant Governor Hochul. “The Regional Green Infrastructure Showcase is a great example of Governor Cuomo’s commitment to environmentally smart economic development initiatives.”
The Museum's Regional Green Infrastructure Showcase features interactive exhibits with water quality data from the facility’s green practices and an outdoor classroom space where visitors can learn first-hand how these green practices improve water quality. The Regional Green Infrastructure Showcase was constructed in two phases: phase one included the construction of an educational pavilion, green roof, rain gardens, rain barrels, bioretention areas, and educational signage; and phase two included the completion of the pervious pavement parking lot and adjacent bioretention areas. This project provides a tangible demonstration of how stormwater can be managed on an urban site and reduce flow to the combined sewer system.
Since 2011, more than $70.9 million has been awarded to support 89 projects through the State’s award-winning Green Innovation Grant Program. The program supports projects across New York State that create cutting-edge green technologies and use unique stormwater infrastructure. The program provides funding for projects that protect and improve water quality; spur innovation in stormwater management; build capacity locally and beyond by inspiring others to build and maintain green infrastructure; and facilitate the transfer of new technologies and practices to other areas of the State.
New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation President and CEO Sabrina M. Ty said, "The New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation is proud a partner in this transformative project. The Rochester Museum and Science Center showcases how green infrastructure can be both beautiful and effective in conserving water and reducing pollution resulting from stormwater runoff."
Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Wegmans Food Markets CEO Danny Wegman and Monroe Community College President Anne Kress said, "The FLREDC is pleased to support this cutting edge campus transformation. We applaud the innovative features that comprise The Regional Green Infrastructure Showcase at the RMSC and the educational opportunity it affords everyone in our community. The exhibit represents a reminder for us all that we must be more respectful, resourceful and forward-thinking when it comes to taking care of our planet."
Rochester Museum & Science Center President Kate Bennett said, "We are excited to celebrate a project that has a very important result - protecting our local watershed. We are grateful to our many partners for helping us engage our community in science and the environment. This is another way we are looking to spark curiosity in people's lives."
Assembly Majority Leader Joseph D. Morelle said, "Our region boasts a proud history of leading the charge on green initiatives and environmental conservation, and I am delighted to see this on display at the Rochester Museum & Science Center. I am proud to have been able to support this exhibit which will serve as a critical resource in educating the community on green infrastructure practices. I am grateful to Governor Cuomo as well as my colleagues in the legislature and on the FLREDC for their dedication to investing in the future of our community and our planet."
Senator Joseph E. Robach said, "I would like to applaud the work of the Rochester Museum and Science Center to ensuring their campus is on the cutting edge of green infrastructure. This not only shows the commitment to green practices in our region, but serves as a tremendous addition to the educational opportunities that the Rochester Museum and Science Center offers. I’d like to thank the Environmental Facilities Corporation’s Green Innovation Grant Program for making this commitment to this important asset of the Rochester community, as well as Governor Cuomo and my legislative colleagues for their continued focus on our region."
Senator Rich Funke said, "Rochester has always been a 'museum town' and RMSC's new environmentally-focused showcase will do even more to put our community on the map when it comes to fun, innovative, life-long learning. As Senate Tourism Chair, I thank our Regional Economic Development Council and our partners at the Museum & Science Center for this important investment in attracting visitors, serving families, and enhancing quality of life here."
Assemblyman Harry Bronson said, "The Rochester Museum and Science Center, in continuing its leadership role in educating our community about science and technology advancement, has created a transformative project using innovative green infrastructure technologies."
Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo said, "This green initiative by RMSC is yet another example of how our community is uniquely combining education with sustainability and innovation. I would like to thank Governor Cuomo and the many forward-thinking partners of this project for putting value in our community's creativity and eco-friendly work."
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said, "Rochester has become a leader in green jobs and green technology, and it is my hope that our residents will be motivated and inspired by this great new exhibit that has brought vibrancy and new educational opportunities to Rochester's East End. Perhaps the next great innovation in these fields will be sparked right here, at the Rochester Museum and Science Center."
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