The Watershed Committee’s Big Urbie Grant helped Gilardi’s Ristorante in Springfield install a rain water harvesting system that will hold 1,700 gallons of rain which can be used in the many gardens that make up Gilardi’s landscape.

Gilardi’s Ristorante is located at 820A E Walnut and when driving by it is easy to notice their atypical landscaping. One of their goals is to grow as much of their own food for the restaurant as possible. To help meet this goal owner James Martin wanted to collect rainwater off of the adjoining Grey Gables historic home and use it for irrigation. Martin says, “The concept of a sustainable Ozarks is one that we focus on, not only in our long-term vision but also in the short term.  Our desire to buy local and support local, extends not only to our food purchasing via Urban Roots Farm and other local sources, but also our waste and natural resources.  Collecting rainwater to irrigate the farm that surrounds our property, on historic Walnut Street, to meet our goal of over 300 pounds a week in produce is a natural extension of that vision and passion.”

 

Collecting rainwater benefits water quality! When rain lands on our roofs, driveways, and roads it is typically headed straight to a storm drain which is directly connected to our rivers. As the rain travels over hard surfaces it can pick up soil, grease, and oil and carry it to our waterways. Collecting rainwater from your roof is one method of using rainwater as a resource and reducing pollution. This project demonstrates how local homeowners and businesses can use rainwater as a resource while having a positive impact on water quality.

This project was partially funded by The Springfield-Greene County Urban Watershed Stewardship Project (Big Urbie) water quality grant, with matching funds being provided by the property owner.  Big Urbie is a $1 million federal grant awarded to Watershed Committee of the Ozarks by U.S. EPA Region 7 through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources under section 319 of the Clean Water Act in 2011.  James River Basin Partnership is one of several partners on the Big Urbie grant. For more information visit www.bigurbie.org or call Stacey Armstrong, Projects Manager for the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks at 417-866-1127.

Stacey Armstrong
Projects Manage
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