Salisbury has been awarded a $200,000 grant that will help to fund ongoing environmental and redevelopment efforts along the North Prong of the Wicomico River.
The grant, provided through Maryland’s Strategic Demolition and Smart Growth Impact Fund, will fund the demolition and removal of long-unused industrial structures at 317 and 325 Lake St., clearing the way for the construction of a public park.
The overhaul of the North Prong has long been considered a vital step in reinvigorating Salisbury’s urban core. The former SALKAP property was identified in the 2016 “Envision Salisbury” 20-year plan for transformation as an ideal location for an urban green space.
The plan, which was crafted with input from the community, cites the location’s potential utility in mitigating flooding issues, as well as its importance as an urban green space that will connect the city’s West Side with its Downtown business district.
“In addition to advancing vital flood mitigation efforts, we are creating and cultivating green, open spaces that will serve our citizens as an urban oasis within one of our underserved and underinvested minority communities,” said Mayor Jake Day. “Just as a rising tide lifts all ships, through this grant, we are continuing to uplift our community while keeping the tidewaters in the Wicomico River, where they belong.”
Salisbury qualified for the grant funding thanks to its status as a Maryland Sustainable Community. The Sustainable Communities designation opens access to a suite of resources that can support housing and community development, local transportation enhancements, tax credit programs, and programs to support a healthier environment.
“This grant award is proof that we’re on the right track, doing the work we need to do,” said Director of Infrastructure and Development Amanda Pollack. “Cultivating green spaces throughout our urban core, enhancing our climate resiliency efforts, and focusing on sustainability – every one of these efforts is beneficial to the health and future prosperity of our city. And by giving these issues the attention they deserve, it’s possible for us to pursue grants for transformation that will allow us to finally bring the North Prong back to life without putting the cost burden on our taxpayers."