Triangle Park New Stormwater Management Practices

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PEC helped Rutledge Borough install porous pavement basketball courts and rain gardens during park improvements.
July 16, 2009

RUTLEDGE BOROUGH - The Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) celebrated Rutledge Borough's Triangle Park Stormwater Demonstration Projects at a green ribbon cutting ceremony 4 p.m. Thursday, July 16 at the park, Swarthmore and Rutledge avenues.


PEC, an advocate and technical advisor on urban stormwater management across the state, worked with Rutledge Borough to install a rain garden and a basketball court that features a porous surface. These stateof-art stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) installed during recent park renovations will help manage runoff, reduce pollution from entering nearby Stoney Creek and minimize flooding in the area during
heavy rains.


"This is a wonderful demonstration of relatively simple stormwater management practices that can be installed on already developed sites and small lots, including residential properties," said Liz Feinberg, who coordinates PEC's stormwater programs.

The stormwater BMPs at Triangle Park include:

Porous Pavement and Subsurface Infiltration System Basketball Court - Rutledge Borough's new basketball court has an underground stormwater storage/infiltration system. That means rain water landing on the court will percolate through tiny spaces, or pores, in the asphalt and collect in an underground storage bed. From there, rainwater soaks into the ground below. This stormwater management practice reduces the amount of stormwater that flows down streets and into the storm sewer system during storms, while slowly recharging groundwater and creeks over time in a more
natural and less damaging manner.


Rain Gardens - Two newly established rain gardens help control stormwater, and filter and trap pollutants. Typically, rainwater flowing over streets and across our lawns collects pollution such as grit, oil, grease, fertilizer, and pesticides. When rainwater carrying pollutants enters the rain garden, native plants and soils will naturally filter and trap pollutants, which help cleanse water before it flows into the creek. Rain gardens
also create opportunities for more stormwater to soak into the ground and evaporate into the atmosphere; this helps reduce the volume of stormwater that otherwise floods our streets and streams during storms.

Greg Lebold, Rutledge Borough Council President, says "With support from PEC and engineering services from Catania Engineering Associates (Borough engineer), the Borough was motivated to employ better stormwater management practices in its park to help reduce street flooding and protect Stoney Creek. For basketball players, porous asphalt means more court time since courts will dry more quickly after a rain and flowering native plants in the rain gardens will soak up rain water and enhance park appearance."


"Traditionally, many established communities and older neighborhoods, lack effective stormwater management. Seeking opportunities to control stormwater volumes and manage runoff close to where it falls to earth is increasingly important if we are to reduce flooding and protect creeks and rivers in the region," says Joanne Dahme, Philadelphia Water Department (PWD).


PWD works with PEC to establish and support watershed partnerships between the City and its neighboring upstream communities. Similar BMPs are being installed in the City to better control stormwater runoff downstream.


County Council Vice-Chairman Jack Whelan attended the green ribbon-cutting at Triangle Park and praised the effort to improve a municipal park with projects that encourages both recreation and environmental protection.


"Council is dedicated to the continued Revitalization of our communities and this is an excellent example of various agencies working together to improve one of our community assets for the enjoyment of all," Whelan said. "Triangle Park is a beautiful setting, and now it's also an example of excellent water management."


The Triangle Park improvements were largely funded by a Revitalization Grant from Delaware County Council with additional funds from the borough and the state. The County had allocated $64,200 in Revitalization funds to Rutledge, which is in Revitalization Area 3. Additional funding and support for Triangle Park improvements came from PA Department of Environmental Protection, Growing Greener and Coastal Zone Management Programs and the PA Department of Community and Economic Development; Delaware County Conservation District; Darby-Cobbs Watershed
Partnership and the Philadelphia Water Department; and the PECO Green Region Open Space Program.

For More Information on the Triangle Park Stormwater BMP Projects contact: Liz Feinberg, Pennsylvania Environmental Council, 215-592-7020, Ext 113 OR Alex Rodriquez, Catania Associates - 610-532-