This week’s rain was no match for the homes on the 700 block of N. 43rd street. Outfitted with new downspout planters, the homes braved the storm to emerge with fewer puddles, a smaller stormwater footprint and prettier porches. The street now gathers neighborhood children to the new community garden, what was once vacant lot, as soon as the sun resurfaces.

Last Friday, Rebuilding Together Philadelphia in collaboration with the Philadelphia Water Department and Penn State Media Broadcasting organized a community block build to install downspout planters and reclaim an abandoned lot. The once weed ridden empty lot on 43rd and Aspen Street, now contains six garden beds for flower and vegetable growth as well as a large mulched area for the neighborhood children to play. The planters will help manage stormwater and beautify the homes with native grasses and flowers. 

Penn State Media Broadcasting attended the event to collect footage for their newest documentary, Water Blues, Green Solutions. The film is an interactive project, documenting the stories of communities creating green solutions for water problems like flooding, pollution and water scarcity. The creators have traveled to cities such as Portland, San Antonio, New York and of course Philadelphia to learn about new and creative projects. The stories are being complied to their website, so be sure to check them out here.