Press Release (ePRNews.com) - NORFOLK, VA - Apr 19, 2017 - Welligent, a Norfolk-based Electronic Health Record (EHR) company, began working on a rain garden project that will benefit local waterways in collaboration with the Elizabeth River Project today. Rain gardens help restore the health of local waterways, reduce polluted runoff from parking lots, yards, and walkways, and make use of native plants and a special soil mix allowing filtered water to drain back into groundwater systems.
“Welligent’s beautiful rain garden is an impressive project! The effort exemplifies River Star Businesses and benefits all parties involved. It will reduce flooding and erosion on the property, while keeping pollution out of the river.”
The project planning began when local Norfolk Academy student, Spencer McCraw, was assigned a school project to initiate environmental conservation. Spencer is a Chesapeake Bay Fellow at Norfolk Academy. The mission of the Chesapeake Bay Fellows program is to prepare civic leaders to effect the restoration and ultimate conservation of the Chesapeake Bay. Spencer saw this school assignment as the ultimate opportunity to create a lasting environmental conservation project. He collaborated with his father—co-owner of Welligent, Andrew McCraw—to increase his access to local environmental organizations.
Andrew McCraw initiated a partnership with Pam Boatwright, River Stars Businesses Program Manager of the Elizabeth River Project. The Elizabeth River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay, has long been infamous for pollution. Through strategic government, business, and community partnerships, the Elizabeth River Project aims to restore the Elizabeth River to the highest practical level of environmental quality. Boatwright is leading the development project for a rain garden that will help Welligent become a River Stars Business. When asked about the project, she commented, “Welligent’s beautiful rain garden is an impressive project! The effort exemplifies River Star Businesses and benefits all parties involved. It will reduce flooding and erosion on the property, while keeping pollution out of the river.” River Stars Businesses partner with the Elizabeth River Project team on various projects that contribute to the conservation of wildlife habitats and reduction of pollution in our local ecosystems. Since the program began in 1997, River Star Businesses have documented: 1,787 acres of wildlife habitat created or conserved; 331 million pounds of pollution reduced; and more than 1 billion pounds of other materials reduced and/or recycled. Welligent is proud to be part of such an extraordinary conservation effort.
Also part of the rain garden project is Bay Environmental, a Virginia-based small business corporation providing comprehensive environmental services for property transactions, development, and redevelopment, maintenance projects, industrial services, and contracting and spill response in the Middle Atlantic States. The company contributed staff and equipment to auger five “dry wells” and two long trenches in the ground where VDOT gravel was placed to help slowly filter water. A unique soil composed of 50% sand, 30% topsoil, and 20% compost will absorb pollutants before the water returns to the ground. The City of Norfolk provided native plants for the garden through a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant.
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