Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Italian Lake to grow more eco-friendly with rain garden, wetland area

Italian Lake Park

A project to make Italian Lake more eco-friendly is taking root in Harrisburg.

The city plans to install a rain garden and wetland area at the Uptown park to help restore the area to its natural environment. On Wednesday, Harrisburg announced that it received a $5,000 grant from The Giant Company and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful for the project.

“The rain garden will improve the natural beauty of the Italian Lake park, air quality in the area and the habitat for the area’s population of birds, bees and other pollinators,” said David Baker, director of Parks and Recreation. “I can’t wait to start with the project and bring our community together.”

According to Baker, a team of staff and volunteers with his department will construct the rain garden at the tip of the lake on the side near Edward Street. Currently, it’s a grassy area that is hard to mow given that water drains into the spot, Baker explained.

The rain garden will help reduce the water runoff and erosion, keeping the nearby sidewalk cleaner, as well, Baker said. It will also improve the water quality in the lake and the air quality.

Work on the project will likely begin in the next few weeks and may be completed by fall, Baker said.

Harrisburg was one of five Dauphin County recipients of The Giant Company and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s “Healing the Planet” grant program. The Camp Curtin Branch YMCA was also awarded a $10,000 grant for its community garden. Other recipients include the Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania, Londonderry Township and The Salvation Army.

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