Dig-In To Leave a Stormwater Solution in New Orleans During WEFTEC® 2014

WEFTEC® 2014 volunteers will plant bioswales and rain gardens to reduce flooding in Conrad Park in New Orleans. Photo courtesy of Dana Brown and Associates Inc. (New Orleans).

WEFTEC® 2014 volunteers will plant bioswales and rain gardens to reduce flooding in Conrad Park in New Orleans. Photo courtesy of Dana Brown and Associates Inc. (New Orleans).

New Orleans, known for its low-lying land that is susceptible to flooding, often experiences problems from stormwater. Conrad Park is not exempt.

When rain falls, both entrances to the park flood. This eliminates access to the Hollygrove neighborhood public space. But volunteers at WEFTEC® 2014 plan to help through the community service project, Recharge, Restore, Revitalize Hollygrove: Conrad Park Green Infrastructure Enhancements.

During the seventh annual service project, volunteers will plant several bioswales and rain gardens with native vegetation to help manage stormwater and reduce urban flooding. The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) Students and Young Professionals Committee (SYPC) is organizing this project. WEF’s partners, Dana Brown and Associates Inc. (New Orleans) and the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans, have committed expertise and resources to construct bioswales and rain gardens on the perimeter of the playground and basketball court. This green infrastructure will route the water away from the play space and entrances.

SYPC also plans to host Water Palooza, an educational fair to teach the community about the water environment and the advantages of rain gardens. WEF and other water- and environmental-focused organizations and companies will have booths at the event.

Volunteers will work during the seventh annual community service project — Recharge, Restore, Revitalize Hollygrove: Conrad Park Green Infrastructure Enhancements — to leave a positive lasting effect on the WEFTEC host city. Photo courtesy of Dana Brown and Associates Inc. Volunteers will work during the seventh annual community service project — Recharge, Restore, Revitalize Hollygrove: Conrad Park Green Infrastructure Enhancements — to leave a positive lasting effect on the WEFTEC host city. Photos courtesy of Dana Brown and Associates Inc.
Volunteers will work during the seventh annual community service project — Recharge, Restore, Revitalize Hollygrove: Conrad Park Green Infrastructure Enhancements — to leave a positive lasting effect on the WEFTEC host city. Photo courtesy of Dana Brown and Associates Inc. Volunteers will work during the seventh annual community service project — Recharge, Restore, Revitalize Hollygrove: Conrad Park Green Infrastructure Enhancements — to leave a positive lasting effect on the WEFTEC host city. Photo courtesy of Dana Brown and Associates Inc.

“The SYPC Service Project team is very proud that each year the projects grow in scope and complexity,” said Timothy Moran, SYPC service project subcommittee co-chair. “This year is no exception as we will be working with our partners in advance to demolition existing structures, re-grade sections, and establish new structures and walkways,” he added.

The project will take place Sept. 27, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. When registering for WEFTEC, attendees can sign up to participate at no additional cost. Participation includes transportation between the project site and the New Orleans Morial Convention Center and lunch. In addition to volunteers, the committee is accepting monetary and material donations to help ensure this project’s success.

WEFTEC® 2013 volunteers helped construct a rain garden at John C. Haines Elementary School in Chicago. Photo courtesy of Haley Falconer, vice chair of the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) Students and Young Professionals Committee.

WEFTEC® 2013 volunteers helped construct a rain garden at John C. Haines Elementary School in Chicago. Photo courtesy of Haley Falconer, vice chair of the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) Students and Young Professionals Committee.

Service projects began in Chicago during WEFTEC 2008 as a way to leave a positive lasting effect on WEFTEC host cities. SYPC also forms local partnerships for each project to ensure sites are maintained after the conference and continue to benefit communities.

For more information, see the WEFTEC SYPC website or contact Dianne Crilley at drcrilley@wef.org.

 

Jennifer Fulcher, WEF Highlights

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