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Supported by the U of M's Institute on the Environment, the documentary showcases an award-winning project aiming to improve water quality and strengthen a neighborhood.

"A Neighborhood of Raingardens" to premiere Sept. 9

Supported by the U of M's Institute on the Environment, new documentary showcases award-winning project aiming to improve water quality and strengthen a neighborhood

Contacts: Mary Hoff, Institute on the Environment, maryhoff@umn.edu, (612) 626-2670
Jeff Falk, University News Service, jfalk@umn.edu, (612) 626-1720

August 26, 2011

“A Neighborhood of Raingardens,” a documentary depicting the transformation of a Minneapolis neighborhood through a community raingarden project, will premiere at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, at the St. Anthony Main Theater, 115 Main St. S.E., Minneapolis.

Many of Minnesota’s waterways are contaminated when rainwater running from urban areas loads them with sediment, nutrients and other pollutants. One increasingly valued solution is to install raingardens, basin-shaped areas filled with native vegetation where water can soak in rather than run off.

“A Neighborhood of Raingardens” documents an inspirational initiative to clean up Powderhorn Lake in Minneapolis one yard at a time. Guided and encouraged by Metro Blooms, hundreds of Powderhorn residents got together over the course of four months to install more than 100 raingardens.

The 60-minute film, sponsored by the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment (IonE) and The Film Society of Minneapolis/Saint Paul, follows the initiative from inception to fruition, illustrating the promises and problems of this exciting new citizen-centered approach to watershed management. The raingarden project won a 2011 Environmental Initiative Award, which recognizes “innovative projects that have harnessed the power of partnership to achieve extraordinary environmental outcomes.”

Produced and directed by College of Liberal Arts faculty member and IonE resident fellow Mark Pedelty, “A Neighborhood of Raingardens” draws on the talents of many U of M students, community members and Karl Demer of Atomic K Studios, who provided much of the professional support. 

“This film and the project it showcases could change the way we think about our water, our homes and our neighborhoods,” Pedelty said.

Tickets for the premiere are $8.50 general, $6 students and seniors. For more information, go to www.mspfilmsociety.org.

Tags: Institute on Environment

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