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Join us at the CT Green Infrastructure Symposium

As cities around the country work to develop sustainability initiatives, many are turning to green infrastructure (GI) to resolve issues related to stormwater runoff. With its potential to transform urban areas, improve water quality, and restore watersheds, GI has gained popularity as a valuable and cost-effective practice for stormwater management. When planned and sited properly, GI can take the place of more expensive repairs and improvements to underground stormwater systems and can be a valuable addition to communities that seek to beautify urban areas and enhance open spaces. Today, GI can be found in cities throughout the world. From permeable basketball courts in Philadelphia to green roofs in Zurich, Switzerland, GI is quickly becoming an essential solution to the negative impacts of stormwater runoff.

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Green infrastructure practices include rain gardens, rain barrels, downspout disconnection, permeable pavers, and green roofs.

On September 19, the Connecticut Green Infrastructure Symposium will give you a chance to learn more about green infrastructure practices and opportunities for communities in the region. Organized by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the event will bring together researchers, municipal land use and public works professionals, and private sector engineers. Together, they will explain and discuss regulations, design, operation and maintenance of GI practices in the state, and how to overcome obstacles and create opportunities to use GI techniques in your community.  Speakers include: Betsey Wingfield, chief of DEEP Bureau of Water Protection and Land Reuse; Michael Dietz, director of UConn/NEMO Program; Curt Johnson, executive director of CFE/Save the Sound; and Rich Miller, director of UConn Office of Environmental Policy; among others.

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Rain gardens, a GI practice to manage and treat stormwater runoff through soil and vegetation

The event will take place at Courtyard by Marriot in Cromwell. For more information and registration, please visit the symposium’s website.

You can visit ReduceRunoff.org to learn more about green infrastructure techniques and news about Save the Sound’s on-the-ground GI projects in Connecticut.

Event information:

When: Thursday, September 19, 2013 / 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Where: Courtyard by Marriot - 4 Sebethe Dr., Cromwell, CT 06416.

Contact: Mary-Beth Hart, CT DEEP, 860-424-3621 or marybeth.hart@ct.gov

Posted by Maria Llanos Martell, intern for CFE/Save the Sound

We are excited to report that the first stage of the Rain Garden Program has been completed. During the past two months, Save the Sound has worked intensively with homeowners in Town of Southington and has successfully planted nine residential rain gardens.

The Rain Garden Program, part of the Quinnipiac River Watershed Groundwater Restoration Project, began in early May with the installation of the program’s first rain garden at 1218 Woodruff Street. Since then, STS staff has been working  throughout Southington to plan, arrange volunteers, and order plants and materials, all the while dealing with rainy days, low and high temperatures, rocky soils.

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Volunteers planting rain gardens in Southington, CT.

On Saturday May 18th, the program moved on to 112 Skyline Drive, to the home of Matt Shepherd, for its second event. It was a bright and sunny day, with cool breezes, and a lot of smiles. Next, Save the Sound staff members and volunteers fought the rain and chilly weather to build a 65-sq. ft. rain garden at the home of Kimberly and Warren Sciola at 296 Harness Drive. The 4th installation was on June 1st. Despite the 90-degree day, another impressive rain garden was built at the home of Lizz Johnson and Will Mauer at 258 Curtiss Street. On June 8th, the 5th rain garden was planted at 4 Tanglewood Drive at the home of Ray and Linda Roy.

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Left: Staff and volunteers after planting a rain garden on May 25. Middle: Rain garden planted on June 1. Right: Group shot of the June 8 rain garden planting.
(Photo credit: Maria Llanos)

The final four rain gardens were built in only 2 weeks!  Beginning with the 6th rain garden, planted at the home of Marie and Matt Lemay at 210 Hobart Street on Friday, June 14th. At 242 square feet, it was our largest rain garden, but a great group of volunteers showed up to ensure that it was done quickly and well.  Saturday, June 15th brought the program to the home of Ayu and Gary Webster for our 7th rain garden event at 60 Tanglewood Drive. On Friday, June 21st, we visited the home of George and Peggy Phorilak at 1297 East Street for our 8th planting. An otherwise standard installation took an interesting twist when we decided to take a different approach and try a two-tier rain garden. The result was a beautifully-constructed masterpiece. Finally, we arrived at 120 Forest Lane on Saturday, June 22nd for our ninth and final rain garden of the season. At the home of Stephen and Beth Wood, alongside some of our most committed volunteers and a great group from Viridian Energy, we brought together the knowledge and skills developed over so many weeks of hard work for another beautiful and functional rain garden.

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Top Left: Rain garden planted on June 14. Top Right: Rain garden planted on June 15. Bottom left: Rain garden planted on June 21. Bottom right: Rain garden planted on June 22.
(Photo credit: Maria Llanos)

The residential rain gardens we’ve built will continue to protect drinking water supplies in the Quinnipiac River Watershed for years to come.  Like many other green infrastructure techniques, these rain gardens will redirect rain water areas where the it can infiltrate into the ground naturally. By reducing the amount of pollutants that flow off of roofs, driveways, and parking lots and into local streams and rivers, we can insure cleaner drinking water and healthier ecosystems.

We would like to thank all of our amazing volunteers. Without their help and dedication to our goals, we would not have been able to build 9 rain gardens and capture runoff from over 6600 square feet of roofs across Southington.

We will continue to work on the project throughout the summer months and prepare for more potential rain garden installations in the fall.

To learn more about this and other green infrastructure projects, please visit reducerunoff.org.

Posted by Maria Llanos Martell, intern for CFE/Save the Sound

The first three rain gardens of the Rain Garden Project were installed successfully on May 11, May 18 and May 25. Thanks to the grant from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection for the Quinnipiac River Watershed Groundwater Restoration Project, the Rain Garden Project has started the installation of 12 residential rain gardens across the town of Southington.

May 11 set the beginning of rain gardens installations for Save the Sound after Jennifer and Michael Khan agreed to build the first rain garden of the project at their Southington property. Despite threatening weather, 20 volunteers, members of the Khan family, and Save the Sound staff gathered together to build a pretty colorful rain garden.

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Rain garden planting on Saturday, May 11.

A week later, on May 18, the second rain garden planting took place at the home of Matt Shepherd. Sunny skies accompanied a wonderful group of volunteers and Save the Sound staff that got together with the purpose of building a rain garden that will help prevent stormwater runoff.

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Rain garden planting on Saturday, May 18

And last Saturday, May 25 a third rain garden was just built at 296 Harness Dr, Southington (photos and more info to come!).

Want to get involved?

In the upcoming weeks more rain gardens will be installed and we need your help. We are looking for enthusiastic volunteers to take part in this hands-on project. Please, contact Evan Welsh at ewelsh@savethesound.org  or (203) 787-0646, x116. Also, check out our calendar of events for more information about the next rain garden installations.

Visit ReduceRunoff.org to learn more about the Rain Garden Project.

Posted by Maria Llanos Martell, intern for CFE/Save the Sound

The first issue of the Rain Garden Project newsletter – Spring 2013 – is out. The newsletter contains useful information for everyone interested in the Rain Garden Program which is part of the Quinnipiac River Watershed Groundwater Restoration Project.

We plan to offer news, updates, articles, volunteer opportunities and event dates about our Rain Garden Project, executed by Save the Sound currently in the town of Southington. We will also keep you up-to-date on our efforts to spread the word about the incredible benefits of rain gardens and future projects we have for residential and commercial installations.

In this first edition you will find:

-News & Updates: Rain Gardens Project Kicked Off, First Rain Garden plantings, and A Garden of Opportunities for Two Families.

-Upcoming Events & Opportunities: Rain Garden Plantings in Southington.

We hope you enjoy the newsletter and please, contact us if you have questions, ideas, and of course, any other information about rain gardens you would like us to include in the next issues.

You can read it online http://conta.cc/10D1hK0.

For more information about the Rain Garden Project, please, visit our website at http://reducerunoff.org/index.htm

Posted by Maria Llanos Martell, intern for CFE/Save the Sound

The Rain Garden Project, overseen by Save the Sound, is moving forward and wrapping things up to get our hands dirty for the upcoming plantings. And since rain gardens are ideally installed during spring, this May 11 we will be planting the first rain garden of the season.

The first rain garden installation will take place at the home of Michael and Jennifer Kahn at 1218 Woodruff Street in Southington. The couple is thrilled with the idea that they will be helping to keep the environment healthier by planting a rain garden in their property. After the rain garden is installed it will help reduce the number of pollutants in their yard and stop the overwatering that carries these pollutants into waterways. Known as a green infrastructure resource, rain gardens filter stormwater runoff through plant foliage and roots before it goes into streams avoiding inherent pollution that would flood otherwise into rivers and ponds.

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Rain garden planting plan for the Kahn Family

Our next rain garden planting will take place in May 18 at the home of Matt Shepherd, 112 Skyline Drive in Southington.  Stay connected with us because we will keep you posted on details and more information about this rain garden planting and more coming.

Volunteers needed!

With only about two weeks left before the first planting, help is needed to build this rain garden. Come learn about green infrastructure and be part of this hands-on volunteer opportunity!

Shovels, gloves, snack and beverages will be supplied, but volunteers are encouraged to bring along their own shovels and gloves should they wish to.

Contact Save the Sound’s Evan Welsh at ewelsh@savethesound.org or (203) 787-0646 x116.

For more information, visit our website www.ReduceRunoff.org

Posted by Maria Llanos Martell, intern for CFE/Save the Sound

Unfortunately, we ran into some unforeseen utility issues and our first rain garden planting as part of the Quinnipiac River Project, scheduled for April 27, is canceled. At the moment, we are still on for the next rain garden planting on Saturday, May 11 from 10 AM to 2 PM at 1218 Woodruff Road in Southington, CT. If you would like to volunteer or find out more information, please email Save the Sound’s Kierran Broatch at kbroatch@savethesound.org.

Volunteers installing a rain garden

Volunteers installing a rain garden

 

Save the Sound, Southington residents and volunteers are gearing up for the first two residential rain garden plantings through the Quinnipiac River Watershed Groundwater Restoration Project. These two Southington families became interested in being involved in the rain gardens project after hearing about the benefits of using green infrastructure to prevent water pollution and protect the environment.

The first rain garden to be installed is set for April 27 at the home of John and Heidi Strillacci at 103 Fox Run Road in Southington. With a dimension of 125 square feet, this rain garden will be installed at the front of the Strillacci’s property.

Rain garden schematic for the John and Heidi Strillacci property.

Rain garden schematic for John and Heidi Strillacci’s property.

Then, on May 11, a rain garden of 115 square feet will be planted at the home of Michael and Jennifer Kahn at 1218 Woodruff Street in Southington.

Rain garden schematic for Michael and Jennifer Kahn's property

Rain garden schematic for Michael and Jennifer Kahn’s property

The installation of rain gardens will provide multiple benefits to both the local communities and the environment. Besides beautifying their yards, the rain gardens will create habitat for birds, butterflies and other species. “We love nature!” said Jennifer Kahn to Chris Cryder, Save the Sound outreach associate, when he asked Jennifer why her family is pursuing the installation of a rain garden. She also added: “Our family believes that anything we can do to help preserve or enrich the environment, we should do it!”

Jennifer and Michael Kahn with their sons.

Jennifer and Michael Kahn with their sons.

These wonderful environmentally-conscious homeowners agreed to plant a rain garden on their properties through the Quinnipiac River Watershed Groundwater Restoration Project, administered by Save the Sound and funded by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. The rain garden project aims to reduce polluted stormwater runoff from flowing into the streets and then into streams and rivers.

The program is open to submissions from residents who live in particular areas of Southington and certain parts of Plainville, Meriden and Wallingford. Plus, homeowners will receive technical assistance from Save the Sound staff and, best of all, an incentive of $1,500 for getting involved in the project. If you do live in these areas and are interested, please contact Chris Cryder as soon as possible at ccryder[at]savethesound.org or at (203) 787-0646, ext. 127.

Help us help the community! We need volunteers to build these rain gardens. Shovels, gloves, snacks and beverages will be supplied to all volunteers (or, if you wish, you’re more than welcome to bring your own shovels and gloves!) Please, contact Kierran Broatch at  kbroatch[at]savethesound.org or at (203) 787-0646, ext. 113.

Stay informed with reducerunoff.org. We will keep you updated on the progress of this great initiative!

Posted by Maria Llanos Martell, intern for CFE/Save the Sound

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