The public is invited to participate in restoring 64 acres in the middle of Butte by applying for grant money up to $100,000 per project.
The Butte Natural Resource Damage Restoration Council is seeking proposals for small projects to improve natural resources or related natural resource-based recreation opportunities in Butte Area One. That area stretches from just east of the Butte Civic Center to Montana Street west of the Chamber of Commerce at the confluence of Blacktail and Silver Bow creeks.
The council has $1 million set aside from its $33 million fund for the projects and will solicit projects annually until the money is spent. The group strongly encourages projects that have matching funds from another source, though that’s not required.
The remaining $32 million is being used in various ways, including partially funding the municipal water treatment plant upgrades. The groundwater in the Butte Area One site has 15 times the amount of copper as the Berkeley Pit, along with high levels of zinc and cadmium contamination, studies show.
Anybody can apply for the projects. The focus of the projects should fall under the following categories: mine waste removal, mine waste area improvements, revegetation, stream restoration, municipal water system improvements, storm water, education or research projects specific to and benefitting Butte area resources, or recreation projects to provide and enhance public hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing or hiking.
For details about how to apply for a project and what project proposals should include, contact Pat Cunneen at 406-533-6882 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Project proposals must be turned in to Pat Cunneen at the Butte Natural Resource Damage Program office on the fifth floor of 65 E. Broadway by Dec. 1, 2014. The council will review projects and will allot contracts between January and March of 2015. Project monies are paid out via reimbursement.