Environment Erie

Millcreek rain garden wins governor's award

Apr 07, 2014 | Posted in News, Restoration Success Stories

A rain garden at a Millcreek Township school has landed an Erie environmental organization an award from the governor.

Environment Erie was one of 23 organizations involved in 19 projects that will receive the 2014 Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence.

"It's a really great honor," said Amy Jo Smith, Environment Erie's executive director.

The St. George Rain Catcher was the only undertaking in the area to receive the award. Smith said it shows that there are environmental efforts of importance going on in northwestern Pennsylvania.

"The recipients of this year's award represent a few of the many dedicated Pennsylvanians who have committed their businesses, schools and other organizations to be good stewards of the environment," Gov. Tom Corbett said in a statement. "Their efforts are key to ensure that Pennsylvania's air, land and water are clean for generations to come."

Pennsylvania businesses, schools, government agencies, trade organizations, nonprofits or agribusinesses that completed projects to promote environmental stewardship and economic development were eligible to apply. Winners were selected by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Smith and participant Paul J. Wurst will attend an awards dinner in Harrisburg on April 22, she said.

She said the Erie County project was a partnership, with representatives of the nonprofit, for-profit, private and government sectors involved.

Paul J. Wurst Landscaping worked with Environment Erie on the rain garden. It was put in along the 5100 block of Peach Street between St. George Catholic Church and St. George School in September.

Students helped with the garden, which will be used as an outdoor classroom to teach about the environment, school officials said.

The rain catcher also was designed to help naturally reduce stormwater runoff and pollution.

"It's doing great," Smith said.

DANA MASSING can be reached at 870-1729 or by e-mail. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/ETNmassing