Environment

Three Louisville schools will receive grants for urban heat island mitigation projects.

Mayor Greg Fischer and Jefferson County Public Schools Chief Operations Officer Mike Raisor on Wednesday will present Ballard and Assumption high schools and Farnsley Middle School with grant funding from the Knollenberg Foundation. The money will fund UHI mitigation projects at each school.

A news release issued by JCPS on Tuesday says participating schools across the county received a meteorological station from the University of Louisville to collect baseline data on the local UHI, making the students “citizen scientists” for a real-life issue. The projects were proposed and judged after the students participated in a UHI Youth Summit hosted by the Partnership for a Green City and Brightside.

The awards of $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000 are for projects investigating white roof coatings and temperature differences; a green wall and trees planted strategically; and tree plantings to shade parking lots and the school.

On Monday, Mayor Fischer released a draft of a long-awaited study on the city’s urban heat island. In their report, researchers laid out quantitative ways Louisville can reduce the disparities between temperatures in urban and outlying rural areas.

As WFPL’s Jacob Ryan reported early Tuesday, Louisville legislators could soon get their first chance to craft policy around the findings of the study.

A Metro Council committee is in the midst of a multi-year effort to rework the city’s 800-page land development code, and one soon-to-be-discussed item deals with regulations guiding parking lot developments.

Parking lots are cited in the recently released study as an element contributing to the city’s urban heat island effect.

The term “urban heat island” refers to the difference in temperature between urban and rural areas. Brian Stone of Georgia Tech — one of the foremost UHI researchers in the country — conducted the study for Metro government. He has previously found that Louisville is home to one of the fastest-growing heat islands in the country, which has contributed to heat-related deaths in the city.

Jonese Franklin is WFPL's Digital Editor.