Success…and a Bit of Brilliant Color!
Fall is the time of year when Integrity begins to tuck in and take stock of all it has accomplished for the year. Just as in nature we tend to summon up one more push of brilliant color to show off (just a bit) and share with you some of the highlights!
One project we are very proud of is the OUR Water (Olentangy Urban Rainscapes) pilot project that was installed at five residential properties on Hamlet Street in Weinland Park. The purpose of this project is to show how, by incorporating raingardens in a neighborhood appropriate landscape design, residents welcome the opportunity to take personal ownership of being stewards of the watershed where they live.
In order to plan and design the project Integrity spent months engaging neighbors about the project at various meetings in the community – civic association, housing committee, and the health and wellness committee. We learned about the wonderful diversity of people in Weinland Park, the care and respect each individual is shown, the vibrant courage they show to fight back against urban blight, and to be tested and then welcomed as neighbors.
We learned they would want more traditional flowers and shrubs, we learned that many don’t own the homes they live in, we learned that care shown in a yard reduces littering, we learned there is a vibrant culture of growing in WP! All this information informed the design criteria and Susan set to work.
Next we gathered our project partners: Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed – grant writing, fiscal agent, education; Diversified Data – qualitative assessment; MAD Scientist and Associates – quantitative assessment; Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District – data equipment; Neighborhood residents Evelyn Van Til – engagement; Woody Drake – signage; Malcolm J – artwork; Monica Desenberg – maintenance; Oakland Nursery – installation; and the Wagenbrenner Group who graciously welcomed OUR Water as a green overlay to their project bringing affordable housing to the neighborhood.
Success! You CAN get residential support to join in the fight to combat the combined sewer overflow problem plaguing older neighborhoods in Columbus, you CAN keep roof water runoff on site to recharge the ground water table, and you CAN plan and design a project to meet many layers of need and multiple outcomes.
One of our biggest joys is hearing through a big grin from the neighborhood “Oh! that’s what you were talking about!” coupled with “How can we keep going, how can we get a rain garden in our yard?”
Success indeed…and a bit of brilliant color!
This entry was posted on Saturday, November 2nd, 2013 at 9:02 am
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