Farming to reduce flooding? Urban farm in Norfolk seeks to harvest rainwater

News

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Norfolk organization is using grant money to create more green spaces and help reduce flooding in the city.

The city awarded Eggleston Services, a nonprofit organization that provides education, training, and employment for people with disabilities, a $2,000 grant through its “Retain Your Rain” program.

The organization planted Eggleston Urban Farm, which sits at the corner of 26th and Church Street.

Produce from the farm will eventually be sold at the Eggleston Garden Center.

“We are growing lots of food. We’re starting with just this one plot here and the longterm goal is to get the soil right on the other side and use it for vegetable production as well,” said Margaret Epes, who is the Urban Farm manager at Eggleston.

On Saturday, Epes and others will install a water catchment system with resources used with money from the grant.

They will place rain barrels at the lot and collect run off water from the Meneike building next door.

Mark Stephens, who is the director of retail operations for Eggleston, said the building will produce hundreds of thousands of gallons of rain water.

That collected water will then irrigate the farm.

“We should be able to capture 25 percent of that,” he said.

To find out how much rain runoff your home or business produces, you can find that on the Norfolk City government website.

Katie White, who is the city’s resilience fellow, said there are many ways people can take actions to do their part to reduce flooding.

“Rain barrels, rain gardens, even planting trees can keep some of that rain out of our streets and stormwater systems,” she said.

It’s killing two birds with one stone, by keeping it beautiful while reducing problematic flooding.

That’s something White believes can help make Norfolk a resilient coastal city of the future.

“These projects are small but they do help reduce nuisance flooding. If we attack it at all levels, we’ll get in front of the problem,” she said about future flooding.

If you would like to help install the rain barrels, volunteers will be out at the lot at the corner of 26th and Church at 9 a.m. Saturday. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Don't Miss

WAVY Twitter Widget

WAVY Facebook

Trending stories