Grounded GSI: Hazelwood

The Grounded Strategies Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Project uses green solutions to address pressing stormwater issues and community needs. We seek to understand the types of GSI features desired in communities and how they can be used to generate creative community spaces while reducing stormwater runoff. The goal of the GSI project is to reduce the number of combined sewer overflows while also achieving community co-benefits. This is achieved by using green solutions to capture stormwater while creating valuable community green spaces for everyone to enjoy.

Most importantly, our GSI projects serve as a touchstone and catalyst for broader outreach and education around stormwater management best practices, environmental justice advocacy, and community placemaking. We have recruited and trained a new cohort of Stormwater Ambassadors who are passionate about sharing knowledge about stormwater within their community. Matt, Valerie, Andrea, and Ali, are all Hazelwood residents involved in the neighborhood and dedicated to creating a better living environment. Be on the lookout for our demonstration projects in Hazelwood including a rain garden, and bioswale. These projects are already helping to inform the neighborhood about stormwater issues and also directly countering these issues with ecological revitalization. Green infrastructure mimics naturally occurring habitats to absorb excess water. By doing this it also reduces the amount of pollution in rivers and streams. These practices can act as a tool to the community for utilization and education.

Projects in Progress: Hazelwood Rain Garden on Chatsworth Ave

This installation consists of a swale that drains into the rain garden area. The swale is meant to manage water runoff and filter pollutants while the rain garden has different plant species incorporated to ensure that rainwater becomes available for plants as groundwater rather than being sent through stormwater drains. When stormwater enters a storm drain in a combined sewer system, it joins with the sanitary sewage coming from homes (sinks, showers, toilets, etc.). Combined sewer systems are designed to overflow and discharge excess untreated wastewater directly to nearby streams, rivers, or bodies of water in the event that the system becomes overwhelmed (in our case, when more than 0.1” of rain falls during one storm event). Therefore green stormwater infrastructure installations like rain gardens are crucial to mitigating stormwater runoff and preventing combined sewer overflows (and their associated health impacts) from occurring.