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City, EPA mark completion of pilot rain garden in Gentilly

10th February 2014   ·   0 Comments

On Thursday New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu joined EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and city officials to commemorate the completion of the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority’s new pilot rain garden at 5302 Wildair Drive in the Filmore neighborhood.

This demonstration project is designed to collect, temporarily store, and clean up to 500 gallons of rainwater and allow it to gradually flow into the city’s drainage system. Rain gardens mitigate flooding risk and help reduce subsidence. This is the first project connected to the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan which provides a long-term urban water management plan for Orleans, Jefferson, and St. Bernard parishes.

“NORA’s pilot rain garden program is the perfect example of how we are learning to once again live with water. As we continue to rebuild our city, innovative water management strategies, including the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan, will be at the forefront. We have an opportunity to create a template for water management that can serve as an international model for resiliency,” Landrieu said.

“New Orleans’ Urban Water Plan recognizes the need to ‘live with water’ in an urban environment, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said. “Innovative green infrastructure solutions like the pilot rain barrel project safeguard drinking water and help build resilience to costly floods, extreme weather, and other shocks to the water system made worse by climate change.”

The 11,100 square foot site has been planted with 129 native trees and shrubs including bald cypress trees, spider irises, dwarf palmettos, and muhly grasses.

“Through the pilot rain garden program, NORA is committed to repurposing open lots, beautifying neighborhoods, mitigating flooding risks and increasing water quality,” NORA Executive Director Jeff ebert said. “We are proud to be an EPA Urban Waters Federal Partnership community where local and federal partners are working together to restore and revitalize urban waterways.”

Total cost for the rain garden was $38,498 with funding coming from NORA through a HUD Neighbor­hood Initiatives Grant. The rain garden was designed by Dana Brown & Associates and constructed by Professional Grounds Maintenance. The Filmore Gardens Neighborhood Assoc­iation will serve as the community partner in helping to maintain the rain garden.

This article originally published in the February 10, 2014 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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