Blue Island to launch rain barrel initiative - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Blue Island to launch rain barrel initiative

City aims to reduce flooding through green infrastructure projects

(Blue Island, Ill.) … To help manage stormwater in a flooding-prone neighborhood on the city’s northeast side, the City of Blue Island in September will partner with the nonprofit Metropolitan Planning Council and a cadre of volunteers to install approximately 200 rain barrels and several native plant gardens at key public sites, including a church and school.

In addition to capturing or slowing down stormwater from overwhelming local sewers, the rain barrels and native gardens Blue Island installs will provide local property owners with examples of how they can use green infrastructure to manage stormwater on their own property. Green infrastructure mimics nature to handle rain on-site and reduce run-off after heavy rains.  The project is one of 12 in the Calumet region that’s been designated by the Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources as an Illinois Millennium Reserve model project. While most of the projects are situated in natural areas, the Blue Island Rain Barrel Initiative is the only project located in a municipality’s public way.

An installation of a native garden took place Sept. 19, at Blue Island Park District Tot Lot, 12026 Washington Ave. 

Installations will take place Saturday, Sept. 29, at Paul Revere Primary and Intermediate Schools; and Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Evangelical Community Church. See below and visit http://www.blueisland.org/bluewater/ for details and updates about each site’s installation, as well as information about project sponsors and partners. 

WHERE & WHEN: Media is welcome to attend installations taking place at the following Blue Island sites:  

Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012, 9:00 a.m. start time
Paul Revere Primary and Paul Revere Intermediate Schools
2300 123rd Pl. (map)
Part of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Green Schools Day, planners and architects will design and install a sustainable courtyard for the Primary school. There will also be demonstrations of how to install rain barrels at several locations throughout both schools and the planting of native plant gardens. Street parking available.

Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012, 10 a.m.
Evangelical Community Church
2237 W. 120th St. (map)
Demonstration of how to install rain barrels at several locations at the church and the planting of a native plant garden on the east side of the church. Parking available in lot across the street. 

Contact Information
Media interested in attending or receiving photos after the events should contact Mandy Burrell Booth, Metropolitan Planning Council Communications Director, at mburrell@metroplanning.org, 312-863-6018.  For local logistics, contact Jason Berry, City of Blue Island, at jberry@cityofblueisland.org, 708-396-7146.

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