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Queens Will Get 'Rain Gardens' to Combat Newtown Creek Pollution

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Over 300 bioswales will be planted throughout western Queens to tackle pollution at Superfund site

Pollution is a continued problem for the already disgusting Newtown Creek, one of the city's two Superfund sites, but some relief may be coming to the creek. DNAinfo reports that the city has decided to launch a $7.3 million project that will introduce 321 rain gardens—or bioswales—to streets in Queens neighborhoods including Sunnyside, Maspeth, and Ridgewood. These gardens will be primarily concentrated east of the Kosciuszko Bridge and will also be placed in areas neighboring the Queens-Midtown Expressway.

In a statement, Commissioner Steven Lawitts said that "cleaning up Newtown Creek is a priority for the DEP." The five-foot deep sidewalk embedded gardens will be filled with plants and flowers and will have the capacity to absorb up to 2,500 gallons of water during storms resulting in less runoff into nearby sewers, which inundate the city’s wastewater treatment plants and flood waterways like the 3.8-mile sludgy-site that is Newtown Creek.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of this year.