Construction of curbside rain gardens to reduce flooding completed in southeast Queens neighborhoods

Read the full story at QNS.

The city Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has completed construction of 170 specially designed curbside rain gardens and infiltration basins to reduce roadway flooding in southeast Queens neighborhoods.

Intern gets his hands dirty building Peoria rain garden

Read the full story from Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant.

As a new intern with Illinois Water Resources Center, I attended a workshop last month with about 30 people from organizations including Peoria Public Works DepartmentPeoria Innovation Team, and Illinois Master Gardener and Master Naturalists at the Peoria Public Works building to learn the fundamentals of rain garden design.

Philadelphia keeps stormwater out of sewers to protect rivers

Read the full story at Philly.com.

Tropical Storm Girard unleashed a torrent of water on West Philadelphia in March.

Missed that news? It was not a real storm, but it might as well have been.

Philadelphia Water Department employees turned on a fire hydrant on West Girard Avenue for three hours, enough to fill up two longish ditches with 35,000 gallons of water – an experimental simulation of 3.5 inches of rain. Then they watched it disappear.

The ditches are rain gardens, brimming with grasses, flowers, and monitoring equipment, and they are part of an underground revolution.

This week marks the fifth anniversary of a consent agreement signed with state environmental regulators, and the city says it has met its target of keeping more than 600 million gallons of rain out of the aging sewer system each year.

It has done so with hundreds of water-absorbing “tools”: plant-studded green roofs, parking lots made of permeable pavement, stormwater trenches, and rain gardens such as the two on West Girard.

Landscape architects probe health effects of rain gardens

Read the full story from the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Program.

University of Illinois PhD students Pongsakorn “Tum” Suppakittpaisarn and Fatemeh Saeidi-Rizi study rain gardens—but not in the way you’d expect. Instead of measuring infiltration rates and pollution reduction capacity, Tum and Fatemeh want to know what happens in our brains and bodies when we see this green infrastructure practice.

LA Kicks Off Program to Retrofit Houses to Catch Thousands of Gallons of Rainwater

Read the full story at Curbed LA.

If this winter comes along with a heaping side of El Niño, Los Angeles is going to have a wet one. If we could just save up some of that water, we might be able to cut back on the amount of water we use from other sources, like reservoirs, which would certainly be helpful in the middle of California’s long drought. A new project launching today will do just that, outfitting houses (just one at first) with “high- and low-tech” additions like a rain-capturing roof, a giant cistern, and a “rain garden” designed to help store water as well as gradually replenish groundwater, says a release for the pilot.

Nature Works Everywhere Garden Grants

The Nature Works Everywhere program is currently accepting applications for garden grants during the 2015–16 school year. Grants will be given in the amount of $1,000–$2,000 dependent upon the needs of the project. Funds may be used to support the building, amendment, or revitalization of gardens on school campuses, with preference given to rain, pollinator, native habitat, and other natural infrastructure projects. Food gardens will also be funded.

For all details including timeline, activities, requirements, grant benefits, and eligibility, please refer to the Garden Grant Description document. Commitment letters from the project lead and your school administrator are required. For questions, email natureworks@tnc.org. Apply online by October 28, 2015.

Minnesota rain gardens go big to fight pollution, reuse water

Read the full story from Minnesota Public Radio.

Many Minnesota cities use rain gardens and other “green infrastructure” now to keep stormwater from polluting nearby lakes and rivers. But they’re often small, neighborhood efforts. Inver Grove Heights, however, is putting that stormwater science to use on a massive scale at Argenta Hills, and it’s attracting national attention.

Soils Support Urban Life: Rain Gardens Help Cities

Read the full story from the Soil Science Society of America.

The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is coordinating a series of activities throughout 2015 International Year of Soil (IYS) to educate the public about the importance of soil. February’s theme is “Soils Support Urban Life.” In SSSA’s February Soils Matter blog post, staff from Chicago’s Metropolitan Water Reclamation District explain how rain gardens work (https://soilsmatter.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/how-do-rain-gardens-help-with-storm-water/ ).

To Tackle Runoff, Cities Turn to Green Initiatives

Read the full story at Yale360.

Urban stormwater runoff is a serious problem, overloading sewage treatment plants and polluting waterways. Now, various U.S. cities are creating innovative green infrastructure — such as rain gardens and roadside plantings — that mimics the way nature collects and cleanses water.

EPA, Youth Build, Greenway Conservancy Build a Rain Garden in Boston

Watch the video on YouTube.

EPA Region I in New England worked alongside Youth Build Boston and the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy on the installation of a rain garden in downtown Boston on April 20. Youth Build Boston and the Conservancy both train urban youth for green jobs in landscaping and gardening. Rain gardens are one of the many practices used to reduce the flow of stormwater runoff when it rains. Stormwater is one of the leading causes of water pollution in New England, carrying oil, pesticides, fertilizers and other pollutants to our streams, lakes, river and coastlines. EPA New England has recently launched Soak up the Rain, a campaign to raise awareness about the issue of stormwater pollution and encourage citizens to take actions to reduce runoff and help prevent pollution of local waters, reduce flooding, protect water resources, and beautify neighborhoods. The new rain garden is part of the Dewey Demonstration Gardens where citizens can also learn about raised beds and composting, right in downtown Boston.

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