The rain barrel workshop was held tonight at the Free Library starting at 5:30PM. This is sponsored by the Philadelphia Water Department and the Energy Coordinating Agency. There were about 10 people in attendance and I am happy to report that some of them heard about it from the Gazette.
They are giving out rain barrels to keep rain water out of the storm sewer system. If you have a rain barrel, you get free water for your garden or hosing off the deck. Just don’t drink it.
Janet Bernstein of the Frankford Garden club introduced the speakers. Julie Slavet represented the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed. She updated everyone on the activities of her group. There is an event at Friends Hospital this weekend that you might want to check out. Take a look here.
Aaron Slater of the Energy Coordinating Agency gave the water barrel presentation with a lot of good information and good humor along with it. You can check out their web site here. You apply for the water barrel at the workshop. You can only get one per family. There is no cost to you and it is installed for free. They will be installed in the spring after the freeze danger is over.
This is a no brainer. Free water barrels and they save you money on water. Go to the next work shop as soon as you can.
Now for a first, this is a shout out to Linda and her son who I met at the workshop. Email me and let me know how you are doing.
This is something that everybody can support. The flier below is an offer to attend a rain barrel workshop at the Library on Monday. If you attend, you can apply for a free rain barrel. This is a free water collection system that you can use to water your garden. Installation is free too. What is not to like about that.
North end of the park where water collection will start
Back in February I attended a meeting on what I thought would be of little interest to me. I like water but I wasn’t all that interested in watersheds. It turned out to be one of the more interesting ideas I’ve encountered this year.
The plan to build the rain garden at Womrath Park is moving forward with construction likely to begin in the Spring of 2012. Unfortunately it will close off the park for a significant time but the end result will be worth it.
We took a walk through with the water folks (Ashley Schmid and Valessa Souter-Kline) on Wednesday and the picture of what will emerge became a lot clearer. Water will be collected starting at the high end of the park and end up in a water garden at the lower end. This is how it sounds in Water Department language:
“Located one block north of Frankford Creek adjacent to the Market-Frankford El in a busy commercial district, Womrath Park presents a unique opportunity to demonstrate green stormwater infrastructure in a dense urban setting. Four modified curbside inlets will intercept stormwater from a 80,000 SF catchment area into a series of pipes and vegetated swales that convey the flow to a 3000 SF rain garden at the southern end of the site. Planted with native grasses, perennials, trees and shrubs, the rain garden will absorb and filter stormwater alleviating pressure on Philadelphia’s combined sewer system. Existing park benches and tables are well positioned to view and observe the rain garden, and new signage will educate and inform park users on the important role of this green stormwater infrastructure.”
South end of the park where the rain garden will be located
That is kind of how nature cleans up water, now Philadelphia is catching up and trying to use that plan. It will save a fortune in building additional sewer treatment facilities of the next 25 years. Seems like a good deal.
You can see a short video here with a better explanation than I give here of what is going to be happening. Here is a summary of some of the details in a handout.
Lots of exciting things going on here in Frankford.
The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) plans to install a stormwater
management demonstration project at Womrath Park in Frankford (Frankford and
Kensington Avenues). The plan for installation in Spring 2012 is not final and PWD wants comments
from you and your neighbors on the design.
PWD¹s Green City Clean Waters program is designed to use natural systems to
capture stormwater reclaiming it as a resource while reducing harmful
combined sewer overflows to our streams. Collecting the stormwater will help
grass and trees stay healthy and provide a model for projects that help
prevent the sewers from overflowing into our rivers and streams. The main
changes you would notice in the park are new native plants, small
stonewalls, some changes to the pathways and new mounds and depressions in
the landscape (essentially creating a series of rain gardens that will
beautify the park while collecting stormwater before it flows into the
Womrath Park was identified as a priority public site for renewal under the
Frankford Creek Greenway Plan, an earlier planning process led by PWD.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Community Academy of Philadelphia
1100 E. Erie Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19124
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM