How Broad Meadow Brook Is Keeping Local Waters Clean

Broad Meadow Brook’s new Barbara Elliot Fargo Education Center is surrounded by rain gardens that filter water from the parking lots and infiltrate it back into the ground

Broad Meadow Brook’s new Barbara Elliot Fargo Education Center is surrounded by rain gardens that filter water from the parking lots and infiltrate it back into the ground.

When it rains...water runs off impervious surfaces (areas where water can’t soak into the ground) such as roads, rooftops, and parking lots and picks up pollutants on the way. That polluted water goes into drains and pipes and into our local waterways, including our own Broad Meadow Brook.

Green spaces such as forests, fields, and wetlands naturally filter that stormwater before it gets to our waterways—but only if we protect those spaces.

5 Easy Ways You Can Help Keep Water Clean 

  1. Don’t litter trash, oil, or pet waste—it all goes into storm drains and our waterways!
  2. Use fewer chemicals and fertilizers in your yard
  3. Keep water on site with a tree, rain garden, or rain barrel to soak it up
  4. Talk with your neighbors and friends about keeping local waters clean and healthy
  5. Support your local land trust and conservation organizations so they can protect more land

Incorporating green spaces like rain gardens and conserved land into cities like Worcester and conserving open spaces let this “green infrastructure” do the work and helps communities keep our waterways clean.

See For Yourself

Come visit Broad Meadow Brook to see what we’re doing to reduce our impervious surfaces and make sure rain gets into the ground and filtered by our green spaces, helping our local water stay clean!

Learn More

Want to learn more about these strategies—which are types of Low Impact Development (LID)—and what Mass Audubon is doing throughout the state? Check out the Shaping the Future of Your Community program or contact Stefanie Covino.

Resources

One of six rain barrels to capture roof runoff and reuse it on a dry day

One of six rain barrels to capture roof runoff and reuse it on a dry day. Thank you to Massachusetts’ own The Great American Rain Barrel Company for donating these rain barrels!

 
This permeable pavement in front of the visitor’s center allows water to infiltrate back into the ground

This permeable pavement in front of the visitor’s center allows water to infiltrate back into the ground.

A close look at one of three stormwater grate capture systems

A close look at one of three stormwater grate capture systems. Water from the parking lot runs into these grates and is diverted into the rain gardens.

 
One of two no-mow areas decreases the amount of impervious surface in the parking lot and increases infiltration

One of two no-mow areas decreases the amount of impervious surface in the parking lot and increases infiltration.

Project Support

This project was made possible with support from the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program, NEIWPCC, and the Massachusetts Environmental Trust.
 
Visit your local Registry of Motor Vehicles or order a plate online at www.massrmv.com or log onto www.mass.gov/eea/met where you can learn more about the Trust, the programs it supports, and the specialty license plate offerings.