When I moved to the Bay Area 25 years ago, every school campus that I saw had playgrounds that were completely paved. I was struck by how stark these playgrounds looked with no natural places for kids to play on and the rainwater pooling on the pavement.
There had to be another way to design our schools.
I became committed to learning about rain gardens and rainwater catchment, and the potential for these projects to serve as examples to the larger community. We need to start to unpave our playgrounds and sidewalks so we can bring back nature to our cities.
I am proud to work at The Watershed Project, collaborating with others who share my passion for making our community greener, cleaner and healthier, one project at a time. As 2017 comes to an end, we have begun planting our largest green infrastructure project to date, our “Greening the Last Mile” of the Richmond Greenway.
Volunteer driven projects like this drive positive change in our communities. This series of swales and rain gardens along the Richmond Greenway will soon provide habitat to local wildlife, filter thousands of gallons of stormwater annually, and most critical, demonstrate green infrastructure’s role in designing sustainable communities. And we cannot do it without your support.
Our momentum continues, and 2018 will be another big year. We can’t wait to dig in! Upcoming projects include:
- Working with 4 schools in Oakland Unified to develop green infrastructure on their campuses;
- A series of swales along the Richmond Greenway in the Iron Triangle as a follow up to the City’s construction of Unity Park at 16th Street;
- Bioswales in the parking lot of the Booker T Anderson Community Center so clean water will flow to Baxter Creek.
With so much planting to do, 2018 will be a great year to get your hands in the dirt with us! January’s Day of Service in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. will feature many opportunities to help TWP get plants in the ground. Mark your calendars and join us on Monday, January 15th.
Green Urban Watersheds Program Manager