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Quay Street rain gardens ‘unseen ecological hero’

A series of specially designed gardens will form the centre piece of a revitalised Downtown Waterfront as part of the city’s 10-year Downtown Programme.

Fifty new gardens, including 19 rain gardens, will be home to up to 200 new native trees as well as the 40 existing pōhutukawa trees (which have been relocated to Teal Park during construction).

While the gardens will add to the green edge of the city, providing shade and shelter to the people in Quay Street, it’s the unseen work below the surface of the rain gardens which provides real environmental benefits.

Auckland Transport's Downtown Programme Director Eric van Essen says “rain gardens are an unseen ecological hero”.

“A rain garden is a sustainable and economical way of dealing with storm water as nature intended,” he says.

“Not only do they help remove pollutants and slow down stormwater flows they recharge freshwater bodies and look attractive.

“Rain gardens also filter storm water through soil mix and plants which absorb and filter contaminants before it flows to surrounding ground, pipes, drains and streams, and eventually to the sea.”

The gardens will provide complete stormwater drainage coverage across the length of the enhancement programme.

Excavations for the rain gardens commenced mid-July.

“We are about half way through these works on the Southern Side and expect to have completed the in-ground structures (pits) by the end of August,” he says.

In early September 2019 surface construction works start on the rest of the Quay Street and the new rain gardens will be backfilled to allow the installation of new utility pits, chambers and lighting features.

New paving is expected start in late October/early November 2019 and progress through into early 2020.

The relocated trees, and new trees will arrive on site for planting between February and December 2020.


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