This project exhibits the transformation of a chain-link fenced barren blacktop into a neighborhood green space with trees, native plants, rain gardens, outdoor seating and permeable pavement. Neighbors were complaining about stormwater runoff flooding their basements and traffic intersection after rainstorms. So our church responded by working to reduce the volume of stormwater generated by our property. We underwent extensive excavation to install underground water storage and two large rain gardens.
We added permeable pavement in the parking lot, planted large trees to absorb stormwater and provide shade, created a welcoming "pocket park" and several smaller gardens to beautify the area. We selected native plant species to support local pollinators and birds. Our project prevents over 500,000 gallons of stormwater from the parking lot from flowing into the shared sewer system. Our church even went so far as to designate reserved parking spots for neighbors to use during the week!
The entire drainage area that was generating the stormwater for this project from the church and nearby residential properties was 40,600 square feet. The solution included installation of a 600-square foot bioretention practice and 4,000-square foot permeable pavement area. The church also installed 10 native trees of 6 species, 35 native shrubs of 6 species, varied perennial pollinator flowers, numerous species of grasses, sedges, and rushes, and 2 species of flowering bulbs. 557,279 gallons of stormwater is captured annually. This is an 88% reduction of flow into the storm sewer system. This includes a bioretention practice which captures 25% of the stormwater. The remaining stormwater is captured by the permeable pavement that was installed.
The total cost of the project was $169,000. The City paid for 90% of the project and the church paid the remaining 10%. It actually totalled $20,000. The church ran a capital campaign to pay for this and an additional $60,000 for a partial demolition of a building on the property.
As you tour our property we offer for you to reflect on the following scripture: “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you...In God's hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” Jobe 12 verse 7 to 10.