Villanova Prof Digs Into I-95 Rain Garden Project

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Villanova professor Robert Traver is helping lead the development of rain gardens along I-95 to soak up dirty stormwater and help clean up local rivers. Image via Frank Kummer, Philadelphia Inquirer.

It’s not a hobby, nor is it a source of fresh produce.

But Villanova University Urban Stormwater Partnership Chairman Robert Traver is planting big gardens alongside Philly’s I-95 expansion anyway.


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What he will harvest, with the help of PennDOT and Temple University, is a million gallons of dirty water headed for the already-overwhelmed city treatment plants, according to a Philadelphia Inquirer report by Frank Kummer.

What Traver and his partners have planted are three rain gardens that divert 32,538 gallons of stormwater from the sewer system; the rain gardens’ plants absorb that water instead. It’s enough to soak up a 1.5-inch rainfall, and it’s only the start to a project that aims to divert 1.2 million gallons from I-95.

“We have a ton of water that’s being removed from the system,” Traver said. “It also provides greening and cooling.”

Read more about how new rain gardens along I-95 are absorbing rainwater and helping clean up the area’s rivers in the Philadelphia Inquirer here.

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