Elmhurst volunteers help clean up community’s rain gardens

Volunteers held a neighborhood rain garden cleanup day in Elmhurst in October. (Photo courtesy of Public Advocate’s office)

Volunteers in Elmhurst helped clean up the community last month during a neighborhood rain garden cleanup day, where they planted sustainable vegetation, leveled the soil and cleaned the rain gardens in the area.

The event, which took place on Wednesday, Oct. 20, was a collaborative effort between the P.S./I.S. 102Q Bayview’s Parent Association (Q102PA) volunteers, the Office of the Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Volunteers held a neighborhood rain garden cleanup day in Elmhurst in October. (Photo courtesy of public advocate’s office)

Beginning at Seabury Street and Grand Avenue in Elmhurst, volunteers were given training by the NYC DEP about the importance of rain gardens, wastewater management and infrastructure.

“With recent devastating flooding in Queens, we saw the consequences of failure to upgrade NYC’s climate infrastructure or plans,” Williams wrote on Twitter following the cleanup. “But yesterday, we saw what neighbors can do to help protect our communities against future floods as we cleaned rain gardens and improved resiliency.”

Soon after being thanked by Williams and DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza, the volunteers got to work.

“Over the last several years, DEP has built about 11,000 rain gardens across the city to augment the sewer system during rain storms and reduce flooding,” said Ted Timbers, a DEP spokesperson. “Engaging the community on the critical role the rain gardens play in keeping [New Yorkers] safe, and the importance of keeping them free of litter will help to improve everyone’s quality of life.”

Photo courtesy of public advocate’s office

All the equipment needed for the event, such as planting tools, gloves, safety vests and grabbers, were provided by the DEP.

With their motto, “Together We Soar!,” the Parent Association proudly helped their community, and plans to do more community service events in the future.