Thursday, July 23, 2009

Little blue collar Edmonston keeps up with Portland and Seattle with comprehensive Green Streets project; Edmonston, MD

Prince George's Town Aims to Pave a 'Greener' Path -
By Lisa Rein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 23, 2009
For decades, the town of Edmonston in Prince George's County has been an industrial back lot for a toxic and stinking waterway. In the suburb split in half by the Anacostia River, freight trains rumble along Route 1, factories churn out auto parts and Greyhound repairs its buses. Stormwater rolls down warehouse roofs and swells the river, flooding already threadbare homes.
Now the hamlet of 1,500 near the District line, with numerous foreclosures and many residents out of work, is trying to remake itself by joining an environmental movement more often embraced by wealthier communities.
In a few weeks, workers will start ripping up Edmonston's main road and replacing it with an environmentally friendly street of rain gardens, porous brick and a drought-resistant tree canopy designed to shade the concrete, filter rainwater before it flows into the river and put people to work.
When the work is done, Decatur Street will naturally treat more than 90 percent of the pollution from the 40 inches of rainwater that sweeps into the Anacostia each year. 'We're a town that's been beaten up by floods,' said Adam C. Ortiz, Edmonston's mayor and the firepower behind the project. 'We have to make things happen for us instead of making things happen to us.'

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