Over the past five years, the Community Ecology Institute has worked in close collaboration with multiple funding and community partners to improve flooding resilience in the neighborhood surrounding its Freetown Farm location. This presentation will cover the stormwater challenge we inherited, how we secured hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to address them, and the best management practices we installed at our property and surrounding area. This session will also share how we collaborated with numerous community members and contractors to achieve our stormwater goals, our continued stormwater challenges, and strategies a wide range of individuals and organizations can apply to take action around stormwater issues.

Speaker Bios:

Chiara D’Amore

Chiara D’Amore is Founder and Executive Director for The Community Ecology Institute a non-profit organization with a mission to cultivate communities where people and nature thrive together. Her prior work includes consulting in the environmental sector for 13 years, for clients such as the EPA and UN, teaching graduate level courses related to environmental sustainability, and serving on a variety of non-profit boards. All of her work is focused on fostering environmental and social well-being through reconnecting people with the natural environment as well as designing, implementing, and evaluating environmental programs. She holds a PhD in Sustainability Education and M.S. in Environmental Science and Engineering as well as permaculture design and master gardener certifications.
Simon Sauvageau
Simon Sauvageau joined the CEI team through the Chesapeake Conservation Corps in 2022 and transitioned into a full-time position as our Agroecology Coordinator in the late summer of 2023.  He has a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Franklin & Marshall College where he led research projects in geomorphology and urban ecology. During his year with us in the corps Simon was able to explore the connection between agriculture and ecology and how their relationship can promote healthier, more resilient communities.