Last Saturday, the Trumbull Conservation Commission and Save the Sound, a program of Connecticut Fund for the Environment, hosted a news conference to present the Old Mine Streamside Buffer project to the public and thank town officials and community volunteers whose efforts have made the project possible. They were joined by State Representative Tony Hwang (R- Fairfield, Trumbull).
The landscape and planting at Old Mine Park is a model Streamside Buffer, which is a recommended "Best Management Practice" in inland wetland and waterway protection. Planting native species on streamside banks helps to reduce soil erosion, to absorb flooding, and to provide shade and cool water for fish and other wildlife. The Old Mine Streamside Buffer includes trees, shrubs, perennials, a stormwater retention pool and a rain garden that help to clean the water by natural filtration before runoff from the road and parking area enters the Pequonnock River.
“The project is among the inaugural restoration efforts of the Pequonnock River Initiative, a collaboration of Monroe, Trumbull and Bridgeport to improve water quality and to protect the Pequonnock River Watershed.” said Gwen Macdonald, director of habitat restoration for Save the Sound. “It is thanks to the efforts of the Pequonnock River Initiative that this project is possible. We hope to implement two other projects on the Pequonnock identified by the PRI in the next year: a fish passage project in Bridgeport and a streamside buffer and stormwater upgrade system on Great Hollow Lake in Monroe.”
“This Old Mine Park buffer is an extraordinary demonstration project that highlights the functional impact of a healthy native plant buffer on water quality and wildlife habitat, while providing a beautiful form that is a more sustainable way to enjoy the Pequonnock River,” said Mary Ellen Lemay, chairman of the Trumbull Conservation Commission. “In a region that is prone to flooding, we hope this will be an opportunity for residents to learn that this natural design is a more beautiful and functional than the more traditional mowed lawn to the water's edge that we commonly see in Connecticut.”
“I want to thank the Towns of Trumbull, Monroe and Bridgeport for their collaborative support and protection of our precious waterways and I want to acknowledge the many community volunteers that do the little things that make a big difference in protecting our natural resources and raising environmental awareness,” said Representative Hwang. “Advocates like Mary Ellen Lemay and the Save the Sound organization deserve credit for their work as they embody the phrase – ‘Think Globally, Act Locally.’”
The implementation of the streamside buffer and landscape of trees and shrubs installed by Trumbull Parks Department and Trumbull Conservation Commission and volunteers at Old Mine Park was directed by Park Superintendent Dmitri Paris, approved by the Parks Commission and followed the design and landscape plans of Joanne and Dale Parsons, Landscape Architects. Funds for trees, shrubs and plants, and landscape features, were awarded through a competitive grant program of the Anne S. Richardson Fund to CFE and the Town of Trumbull. The Town contributed an equal share in materials and labor to match the Anne S. Richardson Fund grant and provide a beautiful and functional landscape at the parking entry for Old Mine Park.