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Valley News Dispatch

Vandergrift gone green: more water permeable sidewalks and trees planned

Mary Ann Thomas
| Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, 6:12 p.m.
The Green Streets of Vandergrift: Sycamore and other trees planted in a water permeable sidewalk along Columbia Avenue.
The Green Streets of Vandergrift: Sycamore and other trees planted in a water permeable sidewalk along Columbia Avenue.

The six trees planted in the water permeable sidewalk along downtown Vandergrift's Columbia Avenue will soon have company.

A $5,000 state Growing Greener Grant will pay for design work to expand the water permeable sidewalk along Columbia Avenue with the addition of six more trees.

These are no ordinary trees but specially selected sycamores and lindens strategically planted in the sidewalk so its roots absorb rain water and run-off that would normally pick up pollutants and end up in the Kiski River.

Borough Councilwoman Christine Wilson said extending the permeable pavement “beautifies the town while controlling the storm water.”

The Westmoreland County Conservation District is leading the effort, using the $5,000 grant to design the next section of sidewalk and trees.

They will seek more grants to pay for the project, according to Kathy Hamilton, a landacape architect with the conservation district.

While 180 feet of permeable sidewalk and trees were installed in 2010, the new project would include another 180 feet of permeable sidewalk, trees and underground facilities to capture water from the sidewalk as well as the road, according to Hamilton.

“It's been a successful project so far,” she said. “Now, we have to re-design it so we can pick up more storm water and eliminate more pollutants.”

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