Leveraging Nature's Filters
Garden mud, rain, and rocks were Rafiyqa Muhammad's playground growing up in south Harrisburg. Years later, she's still playing in the dirt, as the new Rain Garden Maintenance Specialist for CBF's Pennsylvania Office. Funding for Muhammad's work comes from a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Environmental Education Grant, matched by CBF donors. Clean-water projects that Muhammad will help manage include five newly dedicated parks and playgrounds with green infrastructure like rain gardens, porous basketball surfaces, and underground drainage to manage polluted runoff and flooding. These parks are designed to empower and educate people in urban areas of Harrisburg, Lancaster, and York to improve water quality and beautify their communities.
Muhammad is optimistic about the positive effects rain gardens can have on polluted runoff and society. "Two blocks from the rain gardens, you have drug dealing and prostitution in alleys," Muhammad said. "But the people are excited we're putting gardens in. They'll protect them. Children from places like the Boys & Girls Club will help."
A wet year really shows the value of Harrisburg's rain gardens. They turn all that water into trees, food, and hope.
Polluted runoff from developed land is a leading source of stream pollution in Pennsylvania. Pollutants are carried by rain from roofs, streets, and parking lots and flow into nearby streams, threatening wildlife, recreation, and human health. Polluted runoff collected in rain gardens soaks into the ground where it is filtered and helps grow native plants, reducing the need for water and fertilizer.
Muhammad still loves getting her hands in the dirt, working between two and three city acres in raised beds and gardens. No stranger to Harrisburg's environmental and social challenges, Muhammad sits on the city's Environmental Council. "Sometimes we have to look at things and turn it into a positive. I'm tired of what I see, the crime, the poverty. This rain garden project to me is something hopeful."
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December 14, 2018
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December 4, 2018
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November 13, 2018
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October 17, 2018
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October 12, 2018
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October 11, 2018
For decades, photographer James Balog has focused on the relationship between people and nature. For his latest project, Balog traveled across the country to examine how people are altering the elements of life—from wildfires to air pollution to rising waters.
October 5, 2018
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September 28, 2018
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September 21, 2018
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September 20, 2018
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September 18, 2018
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September 11, 2018
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August 31, 2018
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August 29, 2018
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation opposes the proposal being discussed by St. Mary's County commissioners to institute an 18-month moratorium preventing oyster aquaculture farmers from using docks in the county.
August 23, 2018
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August 21, 2018
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August 3, 2018
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July 20, 2018
In 1608, during the first exploration of the Chesapeake Bay by European settlers, it was Captain John Smith who led the way. Of the countless voyages throughout this national treasure since, it's a safe bet that most had a captain.
June 29, 2018
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June 8, 2018
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June 1, 2018
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May 18, 2018
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May 15, 2018
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May 11, 2018
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May 4, 2018
It's not often you can see water pollution from space. But a well-known image following Tropical Storm Lee in 2011 has a long, complicated story to tell.
May 3, 2018
On a cold night in January 1989, I gathered 12 friends of mine together. Plastic bags, fishing line, cigarette butts, and heaps of other trash were defiling our waterways. And we wanted to do something about it.
May 1, 2018
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers–a key federal partner in the Chesapeake Bay Program–recently gave Capitol Hill a sneak peek at a unique and powerful new federal restoration tool that will be unveiled on May 31: the Chesapeake Bay Comprehensive Plan.
April 27, 2018
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April 20, 2018
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March 13, 2018
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March 2, 2018
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February 15, 2018
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