Land Bank Constructing "Rain Garden" On Easton Street

Jason Graziadei •

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The rain garden under construction on March 13, 2024. Photo by Kit Noble

At the intersection of Easton Street and North Beach Street, the Land Bank is in the midst of building a so-called "rain garden" pocket park that it hopes will be open to the public by the summer.

The .2-acre property, located at 65 and 67 Easton Street, is being transformed into a small, walkable public park that will also serve to "direct, absorb, and filter stormwater runoff before it runs into storm drains."

The $784,250 construction project is being completed by Speakman Excavating, LLC, which was the sole bidder for the work. The Land Bank purchased both properties in 2020, paying $200,000 for 67 Easton Street and $700,000 for 65 Easton Street.

Beyond improving the property as a park for public use, the goal is for this rain garden to serve as an example of how individual homeowners can use nature-based solutions as stormwater management strategies on a smaller scale to mitigate flooding issues on their property," said Land Bank executive director Jesse Bell. "Along those lines we intend to have interpretive signage on site to educate the public about rain gardens in general as well as the plants used in this one in particular."

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Bell emphasized that the park will be fully ADA accessible and had been designed by the Horsley Witten Group in collaboration with the Land Bank to help address localized flooding issues at the intersection. She said it will create additional layers of filtration for stormwater through sediment forebays and a constructed wetland prior to it entering the storm drain and into the harbor.

The property experiences frequent flooding during precipitation events, the Land Bank stated (see photo below from a recent storm).

"When rain falls on impervious surfaces such as roads, roofs, and parking lots, it does not soak into the ground," according to the Land Bank's project page. "That stormwater runoff picks up pollutants (e.g., fertilizer, sediment, pet/yard waste) and then flows into storm drains. The storm drains located at Easton Street lead to the harbor, so the Land Bank has taken on this project to improve the ability of this park to store and filter stormwater before it enters the harbor, thereby improving our harbor water quality."

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The intersection of Easton Street and North Beach Street following a storm in January 2024. Photo by Jason Graziadei
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