Housatonic Valley Association and Partners Unveil Rain Gardens in Dover Plains 

Housatonic Valley Association and Partners Unveil Rain Gardens in Dover Plains

These projects will improve water quality for all residents, human and animal alike.
DOVER PLAINS, NY, June 7, 2024—The Housatonic Valley Association (HVA) recently celebrated the installation of two rain gardens that will dramatically reduce pollution entering Wells Brook, a tributary to the Ten Mile River and an important warm-weather refuge for native fish. Attendees who gathered at the Dover Plains McDonald’s for a ribbon-cutting ceremony had the chance to visit the site, tour the streambanks, and learn how rain gardens protect rivers for the benefit of human communities and wildlife populations.
At the ceremony, McDonald’s owner and operator Victor Wong thanked HVA’s Ten Mile River Watershed Manager, Claire Wegh, for teaching him why the streams surrounding his business are vital, in part because they carry water all the way from Dover, NY, to Long Island Sound. The rain gardens, which incorporate native plants beneficial to pollinators, filter stormwater runoff from Route 22, as well as from the McDonald’s roof and parking lot, before it reaches Wells Brook, ultimately reducing flooding and improving water quality by removing pollutants. These impressive examples of green infrastructure were designed and built by Earth Tones Native Nursery, with funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Long Island Sound Futures Fund and Iroquois Gas Transmission Systems, and in partnership with McDonald’s and J.C. Wong Management.
At the site, HVA installed interpretive signs in English and Spanish that describe the ecological diversity and importance of Wells Brook, as well as the function of rain gardens and how they benefit local wildlife and human communities. As HVA’s Wegh explains, “Providing an opportunity for environmental education in a diverse rural community like Dover Plains, in a spot as heavily trafficked as a McDonald’s, is an exciting example of what equitable environmental education can look like.”
These rain gardens are one of many projects HVA and its conservation partners are working on across the Housatonic River watershed as part of the Clean, Cold and Connected Initiative. This program works to protect streams like Wells Brook, restore fish and wildlife habitat, and provide opportunities for people to learn about and enjoy the rich natural heritage of the Housatonic River. For more information on the conservation and education projects underway in the Housatonic Valley region, visit the HVA website: hvatoday.org.

Author: Harlem Valley News