(from left) MPC Program Director Josh Ellis, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, and MPC Research Assistant Matt Nichols talk about Blue Island's Rain Barrel Initiative at an Aug. 16 news conference.
Research Assistant Matt Nichols contributed to this post.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, and representatives from the Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources (IDNR) officially unveiled the first 12 model projects of the Millennium Reserve at an Aug. 16 news conference at the 31st Street Beach House in Chicago. The Millennium Reserve, and by extension the first 12 model projects, are designed to transform the Calumet area into a one-of-a-kind public destination that honors its cultural and industrial past; protects and enhances its natural ecosystems; supports healthy and prosperous communities and residents; and stimulates vigorous and diverse economic growth.
MPC is proud to be a partner in one of the model projects, the Blue Island Rain Barrel Initiative. We attended the news conference and had the opportunity to explain how the initiative—to install roughly 200 rain barrels and several native gardens at demonstration sites around the city’s northeast neighborhood, as well as conduct an ongoing series of neighborhood workshops and teacher trainings—will help manage stormwater and reduce flooding in Blue Island, while contributing to the broader goals of the Millennium Reserve. This first phase of demonstration projects will set the stage for a more comprehensive suite of stormwater management improvements in the neighborhood. Congrats to our partners in this project, including the City of Blue Island, University of Illinois Extension-Cook County, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, Blue Island Park District, U.S. Green Buildings Council, OAI, and IDNR.
Here are a few of our favorite snapshots from the news conference: