Help Keep PA Waters Clean!

Posted by: Mary Kate Ranii on June 24, 2016

If you enjoy the fun, sun and exercise of gardening, PRC East needs you! We recently received a PA Department of Environmental Protection Growing Greener grant to build 36 new Rain Gardens starting in Fall 2016, in partnership with the Eastern Delaware County Stormwater Collaborative. To achieve this goal we need to build a group of volunteers in each participating municipality who will work with their neighbors in local rain garden projects. With the health benefits of gardening, it’s a win-win opportunity for you and your community!

darby 3In densely developed areas with large areas of impervious surfaces, excess stormwater runoff is a critical pollution problem for our waterways. Rain water runs off buildings, roads, and driveways into municipal stormwater lines leading to local streams, rivers and other waterways. This runoff often holds pollutants like oil, fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals adversely affecting the health of the waterway and wildlife. New federal and state regulations require each municipality to take responsibility for their share of this excess runoff, so simple Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) projects can help save your community the cost of expensive engineered solutions.

Rain gardens are one of the most simple and effective solutions to fighting runoff and its associated impacts. The shallow bowl shape captures runoff long enough to filter through soil, breaking down the pollutants and preventing dangerous flooding during wet weather events (ie rainstorms).  Large or small, these gardens can collectively have big impacts. Every inch of rain falling on 1,000 square feet of impervious surface (such as roof or asphalt) results in 600 gallons of runoff. The Philadelphia region averages 41 inches of rain per year, so a rain garden intercepting runoff from that area will capture, divert and filter nearly 25,000 gallons annually.  That effect will be multiplied by the dozens of gardens that will be built, keeping millions of gallons of polluted runoff out of our waterways! But we cannot do this exciting work without you!

For updates on this program, upcoming installation dates, and to volunteer, click here and contact Jayne Young at young@prc.org.

Categories: Sustainable Home