Tuesday, February 11, 2014, by Sarah Chase
A Gentilly lot made its “rain garden” debut last week as the first project connected to the years-in-the-making Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan. The 11,100-square-foot site in the Filmore neighborhood will temporarily hold up to 500 gallons of rainwater before it gradually goes into the city’s drainage system. To prevent the all too common flooded streets situation, a portion of the sidewalk has been sliced so water can make its way from the gutter to the rain garden and before the mosquito freak-out starts, rest assured, the water will drain within 48 hours.
The Living With Water plan, led by local architecture firm Waggonner & Ball along with Greater New Orleans, Inc. and a slew of Dutch and local water pros, looks at ways to view water as an asset and how to live alongside it instead of pumping it all out of the city every time it rains. The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority owns the Gentilly lot and has teamed up with the Urban Water Plan folks with plans to bring similar gardens to the Lower Ninth Ward, Gentilly Woods, Algiers, and Hollygrove.