Storm Water Project

Philadelphia (May 19, 2007)- UC Green volunteers from the West Shore and Spruce Hill neighborhoods helped to put the finishing touches on an innovative demonstration storm water project at 47th St. & Gray’s Ferry Avenue. The project was funded by the Philadelphia Water Department’s Office of Watersheds and will allow storm water to collect at the site and within 24 hours percolate and recharge the ground rather than rush directly into the river.


The site sits at the bottom of a hill and is just a stone’s throw away from the Schuylkill River. The 20 acres surrounding this site sees over 300,000 gallons of storm water per year.
This project is an example of how we can help keep our watersheds cleaner. The landscaping was designed by Philadelphia Green of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society after receiving input from multiple community meetings with many local partners such as the University of the Sciences, American Cities Project Neat, University City District, the Schuylkill River Development Corporation, Bartrams Gardens, the Philadelphia Streets Department, Department of Recreation, and others.
The sites features gingko and river birch trees, low bush blueberry, redosier dogwood, chokecherry, iris, and sensitive fern as perennials, along with some annuals for color.
Runoff is the term used to describe the flow of water over the ground and into the nearest body of water or through a Combined Sewer System. As you can imagine, rain carried across city streets picks up pollutants, such as motor oil, dog feces, cigarette butts, aluminum cans, and litter.
The Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers need to be protected since they are the source of drinking water for the city’s residents. Besides not littering and polluting on our streets, the best thing we can do is to manage stormwater on-land to reduce the number of sewage overflows into the rivers. We can do this by using stormwater management best practices into properties we develop or redevelop and we can also integrate these practices on our own properties.
For more information, visit UC Green.