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Water, Land, Life
WPC enewsletter

February 2012

WPC Receives State Funding to Help Manage Storm Water Runoff in Millvale


The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy will receive a $703,525 state grant to plant approximately 850 trees and install landscape elements to control storm water runoff and pollution into Girty's Run in Millvale Borough.

"This project is a wonderful opportunity to apply the principles of green infrastructure to help with Millvale's pervasive and long-term flooding problems," said Judy Wagner, WPC's senior director of the Gardens and Greenspace Program. "While trees will not be the final answer to the flooding problem, they will be a significant contributor to slowing the rush of water into the storm system. Plus, the community will also gain all the added benefits - economic, environmental and social - that we know trees bring to a community."

Girty's Run is a key tributary of the Allegheny River and has a history of flooding when it storms. The work will help reduce flooding and stop pollutants from draining into the river. The funding comes from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure and Investment Authority (PENNVEST). TreeVitalize Pittsburgh will begin planting the trees this spring.

WPC will plant a diverse variety of trees that will provide shade while also absorbing water during rainstorms. Each tree will be specifically selected for its site to assure best survival and maximum impact. Bioswales will be installed to slow stormwater runoff and to remove silt and absorb water through soil and vegetation.

WPC first began working with Millvale Borough officials and local residents in 1999 when it helped establish a gateway flower garden at the Route 28 exit. In 2010, WPC and Grow Pittsburgh helped community members establish a new community food garden, a shed and water system, sited on a vacant lot left condemned due to flooding. The food garden was supported through the Allegheny Grows program, a project funded by the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development.

"We are delighted to have this new chance to work with our longtime friends in Millvale to use greening to address the needs of the community," Wagner said.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett announced the investment of $98 million in 23 non-point source, drinking water, and wastewater projects in 19 counties on January 25.

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