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Media Contact:

Jessica Higdon
Deputy Press Secretary
Office of the Mayor
Office: 317-327-3649

City Plants Trees to Benefit Environment, Reduce Costs

Trees absorb water during rain events, reduce stormwater entering overburdened sewer system

INDIANAPOLIS – The city of Indianapolis in partnership with contractor United Water Services will plant trees in Brookside Park on Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2008, in one of the first steps toward implementing a comprehensive green infrastructure plan in Indianapolis.

Trees that line Indianapolis’ streets currently absorb an estimated 319 million gallons of stormwater annually, keeping this water out of the city’s overburdened combined sewer system and treatment plants. In turn, the trees help to reduce the amount and frequency of raw sewage that overflows into local streams and rivers. In areas where sanitary and storm sewers are separated, trees slow and reduce the amount of stormwater entering the drainage system, which can assist with street and yard flooding.

Planting trees is just one step the city is taking to incorporate natural and sustainable stormwater management practices to improve the environment throughout Marion County. Other plans for “greening” Indianapolis’ infrastructure include building green roofs, planting rain gardens and bi-swales, and installing porous pavement. These techniques not only help reduce raw sewage overflows but also significantly reduce costs for ratepayers, while protecting and improving the environment.

WHAT:          Media Availability: Tree planting to reduce the amount of stormwater entering the combined sewer system  

WHO:             Mayor Gregory A. Ballard, Indianapolis Department of Public Works, Indy Parks and United Water Services.

WHEN:          Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2008
Media outlets are invited to attend between 2:30 and 3 p.m.

WHERE:       Brookside Park, 3500 Brookside Parkway South Drive

DETAILS:     Mayor Ballard will plant a tree at the event and will be available to discuss the benefits of and future plans for green infrastructure in Indianapolis. Steve Nielsen, DPW Deputy Director/Chief Engineer, will be available to discus in detail the benefits of planting trees as a stormwater management practice.