To some, the rock-filled dip with some natural greenery outside the Gulfport Recreation Center might look like any other local landscape, but in fact, it’s a rain garden – the Gulfport Sustainability Committee’s first completed project.
“It seems like we were talking about making this happen one day and six months later we had grant money,” said Sustainability Committee president and environmental scientist Dana Parkinson.
The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council and the Tampa Bay Estuary Program granted funds that paid for the installation of the garden; next comes educational signage for the space.
“Gulfport is such a beautiful community. It’s been a pure joy getting this together,” Parkinson said.
On Saturday, March 27, city officials such as Councilmembers April Thanos and Paul Ray, along with students from Boca Ciega High School and the Gulfport Teen Council, all helped finish the planting in less than two hours.
Ideally, the rain garden, a water collecting dip with natural plants and rocks, will hold rainwater and keep the nutrient-pumped liquid from entering Boca Ciega Bay, where excess nutrients from fertilizers can cause algae blooms.
“We got this done so quick,” Thanos said. “I’m happy to see it.”