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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Community-based Water Harvesting

My neighborhood just got a welcome, new addition.  A local community group recently built a raised planter / stormwater management cell in a parkway to help control runoff from a nearby parking lot.  The cell incorporates broken concrete slabs to frame the planter and provides raised beds planted with vegetables and flowers.  While the cell is definitely a small, primitive intervention compared to many of the well-publicized, pilot projects we see in Portland and beyond, the project underscores for me the power of simple, community-based efforts for reworking our urban landscapes in a more sustainable fashion. Something as simple as some concrete, small grade changes and soil can help reduce runoff and increase planting area along a street.  Can't wait to see how well the cell works in a rain event, and the maturation of the plantings. 

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