Work to install new rain garden between the old Cinema 6 parking lot and Tidal Creek Co-op on Oleander Drive, an area prone to flooding, began on April 28.
The project is being done as part of a long-term initiative to improve water quality in the Bradley and Hewletts Creek watersheds. The city is working with UNCW, Tidal Creek Co-op, The Surfrider Foundation and NC State University to install the rain garden.
Rain gardens are built in shallow depressions to reduce flooding by capturing stormwater runoff that flows off streets, driveways and rooftops when it rains. The soil in the garden naturally filters pollutants from the stormwater before it flows untreated into waterways. This rain garden will help to improve water quality in Hewletts Creek which is closed to shellfishing, primarily due to polluted runoff.
Educational signage will be installed as part of the project to help inform the public about stormwater pollution and how rain gardens and other methods, such as rain barrels and rerouted downspouts, can improve local water quality.
The city has worked with other local and state organizations to install rain gardens on several public properties as well.