- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - A group of young, professional Grand Rapids employees is pitching in on a volunteer effort to beautify green space in a city neighborhood.

About 20 members of govern:GR and other city employees on Wednesday will be planting perennials at Tremont Green Space on the city’s west side.

Grand Rapids created the green space after repetitive flooding issues caused the city to raze homes that were previously on or near the site. The city says a federal grant and a local assessment funded removal of eight houses in the flood-prone area.

Native plants from rain gardens for the city’s Environmental Services Department will be transplanted to help manage urban storm water runoff. Officials say the plantings will help remove standing water, reduce mosquito breeding and create habitat for birds and butterflies.

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