NORTH CHARLESTON, SC, June 6, 2011 -- A new community rain garden at the Gussie Green Community Center in North Charleston, SC, will help improve urban water quality and provide an opportunity for local youth and residents to learn more about green job opportunities.
The project, which is a cooperative collaboration between EPA, the City of North Charleston, SC Parks and Recreation Department and The River Network, will include the installation of rain barrels and the planting of a rain garden. Both strategies aid in the removal of pollutants from runoff though natural physical, chemical and biological processes.
Rain gardens capture runoff from impervious areas such as roofs and driveways and allow it to seep slowly into the ground, filtering out pollutants including fertilizer, pesticides, oil, heavy metals and other chemicals that are carried with rain water. These pollutants are absorbed by the soil, mulch and plants and removed through the natural biological and chemical process. In addition, rain gardens can help preserve nearby streams and lakes by reducing the amount of runoff and filtering pollutants.
"The Gussie Community Rain garden is a wonderful opportunity for local youth and residents to play an active role in transforming their neighborhoods," said Ed Barfield, Recreation Director for the City of North Charleston.
The Gussie Green Community Center is located in the Chicora-Cherokee community. The development of the rain garden will add value to the community's efforts to improve their urban environment and economic development. In addition to protection from stormwater runoff, the rain garden installation, which was kicked off at the River Network's River Rally 2011, will be an educational experience for local youth and residents to learn more about green job opportunities including environmental management for local parks and recreation services.