The East Falls Development Corporation is currently looking for volunteers to help with some much needed maintenance at the East Falls SEPTA station on Midvale Avenue. Work includes tilling the meadow area and planting.
It’s all part of the East Falls Goes Green project which is an element of the residential phase of the East Falls Model Storm Water Project, created to alleviate storm water run-off into the Schuylkill River.
The effort was temporarily stopped because of repetitive vandalism to the rain barrel system, which at times was to the point of destruction.
“We wanted a period to go by and [to] monitor the station to make sure we didn’t get our rain barrels fixed and have all of it happen again,” said Noemi “Mimi” Armstrong. “A good amount has gone by and there hasn’t been any activity.”
The rain barrel system is attached to the SEPTA station’s ticket trailer, which Armstrong notes has a small roof that collects a lot of water. It was re-engineered by the Delaware Valley Rainwater Catchment Systems (DVRCS) in July.
George Grigonis, founder of DVRCS, said they re-engineered the system by making it more secure, vandal proof and changed the way the system works.
“Before we had two points at which it would fill, now we have eight points and each barrel in the system fills up individually,” said Grigonis. “Also, approximately 20 gallons goes into a diverter so that the water that goes in the barrel is much cleaner and we didn’t have that before and the barrels were getting dirty on the inside.”
He also said they painted the barrels in order to eliminate algae growth. In partnership with two other volunteers, Grigonis was one of the initial designers and installers of the system approximately four years ago.
Armstrong said the volunteering opportunity would be a great way to show residents the benefits of the rain barrel system at the R6 station and what it could do at their homes. She adds that it’s a great way to get people involved in the community and meet neighbors who are interested in local greening efforts.
Volunteers are encouraged to sign-up by Sept. 14. For more information, contact Noemi Armstrong at firstname.lastname@example.org.