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United States Senators Kit Bond and Jim Talent were in Springfield today (Monday) to show off the first urban project to come out of the Water Quality Improvement Program.
KSMU's Matt Petcoff reports on how this project will help to clean up southwest Missouri...
The Water Quality Improvement Project is a partnership between the Missouri Environmental Resources Coalition and local environmental groups working to improve and maintain the Ozark's waterways.
Senator Kit Bond was a major player in developing the project two years ago and, with the help of Senator Jim Talent, has secured five million dollars for southwest Missouri waterways.
Today it was announced that the project was making its first jump into an urban area with the Green Circle project.
Bond says projecting our lakes and streams within urban environments is just another step in cleaning up Ozarks waterways.
Helping to begin the process of cleaning up urban waterways is the Green Circle project, a shopping center which will be the first of its kind in southwest Missouri.
At the forefront of this project is Matt O'Reilly, developer of the Green Circle project and owner of the local Dynamic Earth outdoor equipment store.
To help with the project, the James River Basin Partnership has awarded Green Circle a 200-thousand dollar grant.
Green Circle will showcase innovative stormwater management to reduce runoff and utilize stormwater as a resource.
To do this, O'Reilly says the Green Circle project will utilize new and old construction technologies and ideas to reduce the building's impact on the environment.
O'Reilly says from the beginning, the emphasis of this project was to use stormwater and other natural resources to improve efficiency.
This, in turn, O'Reilly says will lower the tenants rent because heating and cooling bills for the building will also be lower.
The final key to this project is the information it will provide environmental agencies and businesses in the area.
There isn't much information on whether or not this type of project is economically friendly.
Data gathered from this project will be compiled and made available to developers in the area making it possible to replicate these designs in the future.