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Old Mine Park – Trumbull, CT

The Old Mine Park Pond Restoration project is the first of what will be several model projects by the municipalities of Bridgeport, Trumbull and Monroe under the Pequonnock River Initiative. Formed in 2010, this watershed-based plan seeks to restore the Pequonnock River to a natural and sustainable ecosystem by improving water quality, increasing native habitat, and promoting sustainable land use strategies. Demonstration pilot projects, such as Old Mine Park, would not be possible without grant funding from Section 319 of the Clean Water Act. Amendments to the Clean Water Act in 1987 created the Section 319 Nonpoint Source Management Program which supports public outreach, training, pilot projects, monitoring, and other activities that contribute to controlling nonpoint source pollution.

The original pond dredging restoration planting design called for reseeding lawn areas right down to the water’s edge. But erosion from the paved upland area deposited sediments and pollutants directly into the river, contributing to a reduction of flood storage capacity and degradation of water quality throughout the lower Pequonnock River.

The redesign emphasizes Low Impact Development (LID) practices that mitigate the effects of downstream flooding, reduce the amount of sediments and pollutants that enter the river, and improve the riverbank habitat for indigenous fish, amphibians, and other wildlife. A new sediment basin retains pollutants and other materials from nearby impervious surfaces. The native riparian buffer plantings restores a valuable source of food and shelter. For local residents, a pedestrian bridge, meandering pathways, and benches near the water’s edge invite them to sit for a while and appreciate the restoration of this natural ecosystem.

In December 2013, the Connecticut Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (CTASLA) recognized Old Mine Park with a 2014 Merit Award for its successful implementation of a streamside buffer and stormwater treatment basin. The awards committee noted the strong community involvement, the careful attention to plant materials, and the positive environmental impact on water quality and habitat.

Read more about the Old Mine Park project on Save the Sound's Green Cities Blue Waters blog with a guest post written by Site Systems discussing the design process and the coordination with the other project partners.

The Pequonnock River runs through Monroe, Trumbull and Bridgeport, and all three communities are working together to ensure its security. By working together on projects like this, we can make sure it's here for our children.
-State Representative Tony Hwang, Republican, 134th District
This Old Mine Park buffer is an extraordinary demonstration project that highlights the functional impact of a healthy native plant buffer on water quality and wildlife habitat, while providing a beautiful form that is a more sustainable way to enjoy the Pequonnock River.
-Mary Ellen Lemay, Trumbull Conservation Commission
This is the first of what will be several so-called “model” projects that are part of the Pequonnock River Initiative, an effort by Bridgeport, Trumbull and Monroe to restore the river to the point where shad, trout and other indigenous fish can find their way upstream. Improving the riverbank habitat is also part of the focus.
-Gwen Macdonald, Director of Habitat Restoration, Save the Sound
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