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New Flood-Preventing Garden Absorbs 150,000 Gallons a Year

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This week the New York Restoration Project cut the ribbon on a completely revamped community garden in Gowanus that could serve as an effective landscaping model for others down the line. The 3,000-foot corner lot, located at the intersection of Carroll Street and Denton Place, is a frequent victim of stormwater runoff and pollutants from the nearby Superfun(d) Gowanus Canal. To help stave off the adverse affects and protect the greenery, NYRP equipped the Gil Hodges Community Garden with what's called high-performance stormwater infrastructure, which are really a bunch of confusingly named but very important things including a bioswale in the nearby sidewalk (a street tree in an enlarged bed with native plants and a low curb), porous pavers, a rain garden, and flood-tolerant plants. In total, these devices will filter, river, and/or otherwise reuse 150,000 gallons of stormwater annually. Fragrance company Jo Malone provided some funding, so in addition to a birch reading grove and a patio there's also a specially designed sweet-smelling walkway lined with flowers whose odor will hopefully overpower the canal's potent one: sweetbay magnolia; ruby spice summersweet; orange azalea; and mountainmint.

· Gil Hodges Community Garden [New York Restoration Project]