Unique rain garden in Toledo neighborhood could be last of its kind

Unique rain garden in Toledo neighborhood could be last of its kind

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - President Trump's budget proposal would slash 97 percent of funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and some city leaders say that could make a central city project the last of its kind.

At the corner of Belmont and Forest, there used to be at least one vacant home. But now, there's a rain garden that brings benefits not only to the neighborhood, but also to Lake Erie.

Patekka Pope Bannister loves visiting the rain garden.

As the city's Chief of Water Resources, she oversaw the planting in the fall.

"This is all tied into our drinking water and getting citizens more engaged into what they can do at the residential level," Bannister said.

Heavy rains that have flooded the intersection before will now flow into this drain and into a large bioswale. The plants absorb the nutrients, preventing them from flowing into the watershed and causing harmful algae blooms.

Also, specially engineered soil allows rainwater to slowly seep into the ground.

It's a $250,000 project that was funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. That money could now dry up.

"Right now we do have additional projects that we would like to move forward with but because we don't have the promise of the GLRI, those projects might not happen," Bannister said.

Beatrice Miringu, a Senior Environmental Specialist for the city, added," This is about quality of life and it's about the communities that care about where we live and the resources that we have."

They hope Congress restores the GLRI funding when they pour over the budget, hoping rain doesn't pour uncontrollably through other Toledo neighborhoods.

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