Mayor Dawn Zimmer joined family members of Joan Abel, elected officials, and members of the community to dedicate The Joan R. Abel Memorial Rain Garden at Hoboken City Hall this morning.
“Joan was the perfect example of a citizen who committed herself to making her community a better place,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “This rain garden was her vision and today we are dedicating it to honor her memory.”
Joan Abel was born July 11, 1943 in Jersey City and made Hoboken her home in 1980. She expressed her love for Hoboken by advocating for local historic preservation and environmental causes. In 2012, Joan developed a plan to capture stormwater runoff around City Hall. Although Ms. Abel passed away before seeing her plan realized, the legacy of her advocacy lives on in Hoboken’s built environment, including at the rain garden at City Hall.
A rain garden is a landscaped feature that captures rainfall and snowmelt and allows stormwater to be collected and seep naturally and slowly into the ground. This helps prevent stormwater run-off and localized flooding, as well as sewer overflows into the Hudson River. Rain gardens make the community more attractive and improve the quality of the local environment.
The rain garden is part of the Hoboken City Hall Sustainable Stormwater Demonstration project, which is designed to retain all rainwater that falls on City Hall during a 25-year storm and prevent it from contributing to flooding. The project includes four 1,200 gallon above-ground rainwater tanks (cisterns), more than 1,000 square feet of rain gardens, 100 square yards of pervious concrete sidewalk, raised planter beds, and a green wall. The aim of the project is to set an example for other city blocks for how to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff that enters the combined sewer system.