StR Header NEW 

June 2011

Welcome to your one-stop source for updates and information about Onondaga County's Save the Rain campaign! This newsletter includes featured projects, upcoming neighborhood workshops, latest news, and more. For more information or to sign up for this newsletter, please feel free to contact us or visit our website.


Save the Rain is excited to work in communities throughout the city of Syracuse. Please contact Khris Dodson if you'd like to host a workshop in your neighborhood or have a speaker from Save the Rain come to your next meeting.

City Council Approves New Permission Ordinance

The City of Syracuse recently passed a landmark decision to allow Onondaga County officials access to implement green infrastructure on City owned property. The new permission ordinance, enacted by the City Council, allows the County to investigate, plan and construct dozens of projects as part of Onondaga County's "Save the Rain" program.


Cooperation with the City is a vital part of the "Save the Rain' program. Key elements of the green infrastructure plan rely on a City-County partnership to conduct projects on public property. The revised ordinance strategy is a result of both the City and County evaluating program procedures and determining the best approach to simplifying the process. For more, click here.

Green Improvement Fund Updated for 2011

GIF Map 2011


Onondaga County's Green Improvement Fund (GIF) provides financial assistance for the installation of green infrastructure projects for privately owned properties (commercial, business, and not-for-profit) in the Clinton, Harbor Brook and Midland Combined Sewer sheds in the City of Syracuse. County Executive Joanne M. Mahoney kicked-off the program in 2010 to help support the efforts of the "Save the Rain" campaign to reduce storm water pollution and help clean Onondaga Lake.  Private property projects will play a vital role in the County's efforts to capture 250 million gallons of storm water run-off as part of the program.  


The 2011 GIF program will include several new elements with an increased emphasis on gallon capture, expansion of the program boundary and new funding limit thresholds for applications.  The updated format is part of the County's on-going effort to efficiently administer the fund and provide innovative opportunities to a wide-range of private property owners to participate in the program. Interested applicants can find more information and download the new program description, application and new program boundary map here.

Green Improvement Fund Projects Support South Salina Street Revitalization

There is a community renaissance happening on Syracuse's Southside, and Save the Rain's Green Improvement Fund plays no small part. A section of South Salina Street roughly between Colvin and Brighton is being redeveloped as part of a larger collaboration. The Southside Community Coalition, Syracuse University and Home HeadQuarters Inc. teamed up to convert an old house at South Salina and McKinley into the South Side Communication Center. It provides residents with free use of computers with internet access. The center opened in February and is next to the proposed home of a food co-op. The city will install new street lighting; create a small park, possibly with chess tables, behind the library at Colvin and Salina; put in a small parking lot on a vacant lot and install signs and welcome-to-the-neighborhood-type flags.

The addition of green infrastructure projects at about a dozen businesses and non-profits will also serve to beautify the neighborhood and capture stormwater. While many of these projects have not yet been constructed, altogether they could represent a nearly $1 million dollar investment in this neighborhood resurgence. For more, click here.

Workshops and Events

Co-host a Rain Barrel Workshop With Us  


Rain barrel season is here...wait, you don't have one? Well, Save the Rain would love to help you and your neighbors take advantage of the County's Rain Barrel Give-away Program, and schedule a workshop in your neighborhood this summer! If you'd like to schedule a rain barrel workshop, contact Amy Samuels. For more information on the County's rain barrel program, click here.

Castle Street Sewer Extension Public Meeting  

Southwest Community Center, 401 South Avenue
June 28 | 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

As part of Save the Rain, Onondaga County intends to continue to abate stormwater challenges by extending existing sewer lines to capture more stormwater. The design plans also include increased and improved green space. Join us to learn more about this project, how it will affect our community and to share your thoughts. This meeting is organized by The Partnership for Onondaga Creek, Syracuse United Neighbors and the Onondaga Environmental Institute in support of Save the Rain.
Harbor Brook Wetland Public Meeting
Rosamond Gifford Zoo
June 30 | 6:30 PM

Onondaga County's "Save the Rain" program will be holding a public meeting to discuss plans for the upcoming construction of a treatment Wetland in the Harbor Brook sewer shed located from west of Velasko Road (where Harbor Brook crosses under Grand Avenue) to about Holden Street or some portion of this area. The CSO treatment Wetland will capture, treat and discharge wet weather overflow events for CSO 078 and be one of the only treatment Wetlands in the country. Representatives from Onondaga County, CH2M HILL and CHA (County Consultants) will be on hand to give a project overview and acquire community input. Community members are encouraged to attend to learn more about the project and provide feedback.

Public Meeting for Lower Harbor Brook CSO

Pensabene's Casa Grande, 135 State Fair Blvd.
July 13 | 7:00 PM

Onondaga County's Department of Water Environment
Protection will host a public meeting to discuss plans for construction of the Lower Harbor Brook CSO Conveyances and Storage Facility. The new storage facility is a state-of-the-art project designed to manage combined sewer overflows (CSO) and provide underground storage during wet-weather events. The program includes construction of traditional gray infrastructure projects and the implementation of an innovative green infrastructure plan to reduce the effects of storm water pollution. For more information, contact Michael Lannon.

Save the Rain at Blue Rain ECOFest 

City Hall Commons Atrium and Hanover Square
July 29-31

As a partner and sponsor of Blue Rain ECOFest, Syracuse's annual sustainability festival, Save the Rain will have educational programming, rain barrel workshops, and an exhibit in downtown Syracuse from July 29-31. Partnering with GreeningUSA's Sustainability Academy on July 30 in the City Hall Commons Atrium, Save the Rain will have educational and interactive displays for families to learn more about watersheds and green infrastructure, while a number of rain barrel workshops will be held on July 31 in the same space. For more details, visit the Save the Rain website or contact Carissa Matthews.
Save the Rain Updates
City Welcomes County Projects
Green Improvement Fund Updated
Save the Rain Supports Community Renaissance
Call For Rain Barrel Workshop Co-Hosts
Upcoming Events

June 28, 2011:

Castle Street Sewer Extension Public meeting; Southwest Community Center, 401 South Avenue


June 30, 2011:

Harbor Brook Wetland Public Meeting; Rosamond Gifford Zoo


July 13, 2011:

Public Meeting for Lower Harbor Brook CSO; Pensabene's Casa Grande, 135 State Fair Blvd.  


July 29-31, 2011:

Save the Rain at Blue Rain ECOFest; Hanover Square, Syracuse. 



LinkedIn logo 

 Follow @savetherainus on Twitter, "Like" us on Facebook, and join our LinkedIn group! 

Recent Publications




Examination of Thermal Impacts From Stormwater Best Management Practices




Identifying and Protecting Healthy Watersheds  


Sewer Report cover 

EPA Report:  

Keeping Raw Sewage & Contaminated Stormwater

Out of the Public's Water


Wetlands Manual cover 

2011 Urban & Rural  Treatment Wetlands Manual 

Funding Opportunities

Helpful information about Onondaga County's Green Improvement Fund can be found here at the Save the Rain website.

About Save the Rain

Save the Rain is Onondaga County's campaign to educate the public and enhance urban settings by building and developing green infrastructure throughout the community.


The campaign aims to raise the public's awareness and understanding of what they can do to help reduce storm water runoff and improve the environment through the use of rain barrels, rain gardens, porous pavement, green roofs, cisterns and bioswales.   


For more information, click here