Demonstrating Blue Island’s commitment to forward-thinking, ambitious and proven approaches to a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable setting for our residents, the City of Blue Island is excited to announce that they are partnering with several organizations working on a US EPA-funded green infrastructure project, or – put simply – a rain garden to help collect heavy rainfall.
This rain garden, located along the publicly-owned portion of land between the sidewalk and the street at the SW intersection of 120th Street and Washington Ave. is coordinated by several organizations, with assessment and mapping help from South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association and Weaver Consultants Group, workforce and additional project management from OAI, Inc. and their new landscaping company – High Bridge, L3C, and grant and financial management support from the Illinois Coastal Management Program.
The High Bridge Company, who is installing (and then maintaining) the rain garden, is committed to hiring local residents to help install this project, and many other sustainable landscape treatments throughout the south suburbs (please call High Bridge Program Manager, Julia Plumb, if you are interested in working with High Bridge; contact information is located on their Facebook page, noted below).
The new site will feature many colorful and fragrant wildflowers and a slight depression to the grade, along with small stones at the site which slows water as it flows into the rain garden. The goal of this garden is to lessen and store some of the heavy rainflow from strong storms, as well as beautify the neighborhood and help birds and other important pollinators. Ultimately, this project may spark a new awareness in residents and City workers – to consider the amazing and helpful tools that many plants and green “structures” can provide – not only are they beautiful in the landscape, but plants can clean the air, store and absorb excess water, provide food for migrating birds and filter out pollutants that might otherwise run off into local waterways. This project is expected to be finished by the end of the summer, but the benefits will continue for years.