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In keeping with our Green Infrastructure Week, we are excited to be having an event today with Secretary of the State Denise Merrill to unveil her brand new 201-square-foot bioswale/rain garden on the front lawn of her house in the West End of Hartford. We are thrilled that there is an elected official doing her part to address our growing stormwater problems- we hope others follow suit.

Stormwater manhole overflow
Photo: Chris Zurcher

In leading up to this event, there have been some great editorials and blog posts around the web touting the benefits of rain gardens.

Our friends at the Natural Resources Defense Council posted a blog post yesterday about stormwater and rain gardens as a tool that residents can implement to help mitigate the problem. Be sure to check it out- it’s a great read!

Last week, the Hartford Courant ran an editorial also touting the benefits of rain gardens and also mentioning Secretary Merrill’s new rain garden. In the editorial, the Courant writes:

Because stormwater and sewer systems are often combined in older cities — Hartford’s are now being separated — stormwater rushing into sewer systems can cause outflows of sewage, a health hazard that forces the closing of many beaches and shellfish beds every summer. In a state trying to promote tourism and shellfishing, this isn’t good.

But retain the water and it will seep into the ground and be cleaned by the soils and chemical breakdown. It will provide water for your lawn and plants and help recharge the groundwater supply.

Stay tuned tomorrow and you’ll get to see first hand what Secretary Merrill’s new rain garden/bioswale looks like!

Posted by Rebecca Kaplan, director of communications for CFE/Save the Sound

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