Trumbull’s Long Hill revamp helps both economy and environment

TRUMBULL — The revamping of the Long Hill area has been touted as good for the local economy — but some officials have worked to make it good for the local environment as well.

Measures were taken when the area was redeveloped to make it more sustainable, according to new signs posted near the Long Hill Market at 6450 Main St., and Franco Gianni’s Pizza & Restaurant on Broadway.

Trumbull Conservation Commission chair Mary Ellen Lemay, who was part of the effort to make the area greener, said such an arrangement benefits everyone.

“For a busy location like Long Hill Green, sustainable design is a winner, as well as a great opportunity for education and inspiration,” she said. “It brings sustainability into our daily lives, and shows us how easy and beautiful it can be.”

The sign outside Gianni’s explains how, in 2019, that section of Broadway was renovated with grant money from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the state Department of Housing Main Street Improvement Program. The project included installing new pavement that absorbs rainwater, reduces direct runoff and improves the water quality of tributaries of the Pequonnock River.

“The project has created approximately 5,500 square feet of green infrastructure at Long Hill Green, integrating watershed enhancements with the Long Hill Green Village District revitalization plan,” reads the sign outside Gianni’s.

The other sign is just down the road, in the Long Hill Market plaza, which officially opened last year. That sign discusses how the rain gardens there are “designed to capture and filter rain water that flows off hard surfaces like roadways, driveways and parking lots.”

The garden is basically a shallow basin containing native plants. The plants’ roots filter stormwater runoff by removing pollutants before they enter the groundwater and waterways.

The use of native plants is crucial, Lemay said, as they can create food sources for pollinators and birds, conserve water, and “have no need for pesticides and fertilizers.”

Trumbull Community and Economic Development director Rina Bakalar said town officials will continue “green infrastructure efforts” in the Long Hill area. This includes seeking grant funding to complete phase two of the stormwater management project on Broadway.

“That project not only has environmental benefits for the Pequonnock River area, it improves the function and aesthetics of the Green area,” she said.