Please stay safe out there. These are trying times, but we will get through this - together! For now please enjoy this wonderful success story from our GIC partner, Groundwork RI.
Planted bioswale
Improving Stormwater Drainage with Bioswales
In 2020, Groundwork RI is launching an EPA Southern New England Program (SNEP) funded bioswale installation project that will result in 48 bioswales around Providence! 

They are focusing on 4 water bodies that are significantly impacted by polluted stormwater: the Woonasquatucket River (with WRWC), Mashapaug Pond, the West River, and the Roger Williams Park ponds. 

The bioswales in Roger Williams Park will be monitored as part of the Providence Stormwater Innovation Center, another RI Green Infrastructure Coalition collaborative effort that seeks to enhance our local capacity around green stormwater infrastructure design, implementation, and maintenance. 

What is a bioswale?
Bioswales are green infrastructure alternatives to concrete gutters and storm sewers. Bioswales are vegetated low-lying areas or troughs that use plant materials and specialized soil mixes to treat, absorb, and convey stormwater runoff. They convey stormwater runoff from a roadway or parking lot into a storm sewer system or other retention area.

Groundwork RI's bioswale projects are sited between sidewalks and curbs in order to make the best use of dense urban spaces, and planted with native plants. 
Bioswale in process
Finished bioswale
Dexter Street bioswale, before and after.
Since 2017, Groundwork RI has been designing and installing bioswales to redirect and treat polluted stormwater. Twelve bioswales with the original design were installed along Dexter Street in Providence during 2017 and 2018, funded by RI DEM's Bay Watershed Restoration Fund (BWRF). With additional funding from Bank of America and TD Bank in 2019, 10 bioswales with revised designs were installed in Washington Park and South Providence with the help of the GroundCorp program, Groundwork RI's landscaping social venture that hires graduates of its adult job training program.

Groundwork RI also uses the bioswale projects to train new job training students on stormwater management, grading, fence installation, contaminated soil disposal, how to identify invasive plants, native plantings, landscape design, and depaving.

Groundwork RI is working closely with the City of Providence Department of Public Works to make the bioswales functional, attractive, and well-maintained. 

Partners from the University of RI and the University of New Hampshire's Stormwater Center are helping the Innovation Center collect data on the effectiveness and capacity of a variety of stormwater installations, including Groundwork RI's curb cut bioswales. 

Groundwork RI is a member of the Green Infrastructure Coalition. Follow them on Facebook or Twitter and visit their website for more information.
To have your member business featured, contact us.
Bioswale Informational Sign
Informational Sign at Dexter Street Bioswale Site
Join us for our next meeting!
April 16, 10:00AM
Location: Virtually through Zoom

All members are welcome to join us at our quarterly meeting via Zoom to hear a presentation about the Providence Stormwater Innovation Center. If you are interested in attending please email Meg Kerr at mkerr@asri.org
Events Update

The rain barrel workshops scheduled for April have been postponed. We will notify you if we find a suitable date later in the season. ERICD’s Earth Day Seedling Sale has also cancelled. Native plant species provide boundless benefits for our environment - please consider seeking out native species to plant in your garden.
The Statewide RI GIC provides communication resources, trainings on maintenance of green infrastructure installations, and shared knowledge on successful sites and green infrastructure installations around the state.
Nature At Work is a newsletter designed and distributed by the Rhode Island Green Infrastructure Coalition to bring more green space news to our cities and encourage the use of nature to clean, protect, and cool our neighborhoods.  Because of climate change, we are seeing increased heat impacts in our city, especially where there are fewer trees, as well as issues with flooding and polluted runoff in our neighborhoods.

The Green Infrastructure Coalition is a collaborative of more than 40 non-profit organizations, businesses, and government agencies focused on using nature to reduce stormwater pollution. We develop projects to demonstrate the powerful role nature can play to create healthier urban environments. We promote policies to create sustainable funding for stormwater management and green infrastructure solutions. And we connect a wide range of partners to share lessons learned in the Providence Metro area and Aquidneck Island.

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