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Webinar: Opportunities in Complete Streets & Green Infrastructure (CM | 2.0)
April 13, 2012 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
The Molly Ann Brook Rain Barrel and Rain Garden Initiative differs from traditional environmental planning and protection efforts in that it is a community-based approach to environmental quality, which relies on public involvement rather than costly engineering solutions. Led by the Passaic County Planning Department in cooperation with the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Essex & Passaic Counties, the WMA-4 AmeriCorps Watershed Ambassadors, the Boroughs of North Haledon, Haledon and Prospect Park, the City of Paterson, and the Rutgers Water Resources Program, the Molly Ann Brook Rain Barrel & Rain Garden initiative implements low impact development and sustainable stormwater management tools to improve water quality. The project was funded by a 2008 Section 319(h) grant from the NJ DEP to improve the impaired water quality of the Molly Ann Brook, a subwatershed of the Passaic River Basin. This grant provided funding to pursue two best management practices recommended in the Molly Ann Brook Watershed Management Plan, the targeted installation of rain barrels and rain gardens. The County has purchased 650 rain barrels and, to date, has distributed 605 of these rain barrels free of charge to residents and public entities within the subwatershed. In addition, three rain gardens have been installed on public lands, and five more will be installed in the spring of 2012. The project helps alleviate a critical environmental justice issue by distributing free rain barrels, which retail for $150 each, to residents in the low-moderate income municipalities of Haledon, Prospect Park, and Paterson, New Jersey; 56% of the rain barrels were distributed in these municipalities. Further, this project implementation can serve as an example for other communities throughout the state. It is an easily replicable, low-cost planning solution for stormwater management, with the long-term impact of changing how residents approach environmental conservation.