“Rain Garden” at the McCloskey School

The rain garden, which covers portions of the playground at the John F. McCloskey Elementary School and the Dorothy Emanuel Recreation Center in Mount Airy, will measure 50 feet by 100 feet and use native plants and other landscaping to soak up rain water and stormwater runoff from lawns, roofs and other impervious surfaces such as streets, driveways or parking lots. Such runoff often carries pesticides, fertilizers and oil into storm drains, which feeds the pollutants into streams, lakes and rivers. It is the biggest cause of toxic waste in waterways that serve as sources for drinking water.

John Ungar, OARC’s Senior Director of Sustainability and Education, said the project expands the “greening” focus of OARC’s five-pillar model of community development. The other pillars are: housing and economic development, education and community relations, business development and arts and culture. Other greening projects include energy conservation awareness, recycling rewards programs and solar-powered trash compactors for streets. In addition, the rain garden will be incorporated into the curriculum at the McCloskey School, located at Pickering and Gowen Streets.

WHO:         John Ungar Senior Director of Sustainability and Education

Karen Anderson, Executive Director of Awbury Arboretum

Amy E. McCollum, Vital Neighborhoods project interim director

Crystal Jacobs, Communications & Special Events Director for Philadelphia

Councilwoman Marian Tasco

WHAT:       Final plantings/landscaping for “rain garden” pilot project in Northwest

WHEN:      Thursday, August 19, 2010 at 11 AM

WHERE:    John F. McCloskey Elementary School, 8500 Pickering Street (corner of Pickering and Gowen) Philadelphia PA

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