Come spring time, some lucky sidewalks in Queens will be blooming with water-absorbing bioswales. According to the Queens Chronicle, hundreds of new rainwater-absorbing gardens are planned for streets in Ridgewood, Glendale, Middle Village and Maspeth. The purpose of the bioswales will be to divert gallons of storm water from clogging sewers during periods of heavy rainfall.
The Queens bioswales will be made up of small trees, shrubs and flowers planted in broken stone and sandy soil. During heavy rain, the garden systems will be able to absorb up to as much as 3,000 gallons of rainwater that would otherwise flow into the sewers, and eventually into NYC waterways.
The new bioswales are part of the DEP’s plan to reduce the combined sewer overflow (CSO) going into Newtown Creek. According to the NYC DEP, hundreds of the curbside gardens will be installed in the Community Board 5 areas of Ridgewood, Glendale, and Maspeth by next spring.
Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, director of Community Affairs with DEP, explained that installing the natural filter systems will benefit the local environment immensely. “By saturating these areas with as much green infrastructure as feasible, we expect to improve water quality in Newtown creek, East River and Flushing Bay. What we’re doing is making Newtown Creek a better place to walk by. It might not be the greatest place to smell right now.”
Images via NYC DEP Flicker