My name is Scott Neely, and I live in downtown Greensboro in the south side district. Aside from being a youth and arts director, I’m finishing my post-graduate certificate in Sustainable Community Planning and Design from Boston Architectural College. One of the things that caught my eye with the Downtown greenway project was the greenway at Fisher Park being developed along Smith Street. I noticed the curbs and the sunken area…and I thought that looked a little different than what we normally see. Putting two and two together with what I’ve been studying, I immediately thought that it had to be a sustainable rain garden—and I was really excited about that!
In truth, we are really good at paving things. We actually need to have a little bit of a concrete diet in our lifestyle. The importance of this rain garden is that it catches the water without it running off into the storm drains, especially when we experience a heavy storm. Storm drains can overflow in major rains, so when it overflows it can create flooding and water pollution. Also when water hits an impervious surface, it can run for miles and collect a bunch of pollutants along the way. Sustainability is not just a trend. It’s here to stay, and it’s what we all need to start thinking about as we move forward.