The market’s facelift is part of the county’s “Save the Rain” campaign, a movement to keep storm runoff water from further polluting Onondaga Lake by cultivating green infrastructure such as tree trenches, rain gardens and porous pavement.
Until construction is complete, however—McFadden has no firm date—farmers are not able to sell their products on their usual turf for opening day, Tuesday, June 8. Instead, the market will temporarily migrate to Clinton Square, a space McFadden cited for its ambiance.
A guardrail used to divide the parking lot at the corner of West Washington and South Salina streets, and also the market. Thanks to the lot’s $179,300 makeover, using funds diverted from the canceled plan to construct a sewage plant in Armory Square, the guardrail was uprooted and replaced with living vegetation. Contractors planted a row of native trees, bunches of shrubbery and porous pavement in place of the guardrail. McFadden said electrical outlets are being installed to provide a place to charge electric cars.
The six-foot-wide stretch of porous pavement allows rain and melted snow to pass through its surface into an underground stone reservoir. The sponge-like pavement should also reduce runoff water left in the lot after storms and reduce the amount of untreated water that flows into sewers, Onondaga Lake and its tributaries. Several locations in the Syracuse area, including the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, the Museum of Science and Technology and Onondaga Community College, have installed porous pavement on their campuses.
McFadden was looking forward to a new season of the popular market, for himself, the vendors and the customers. “It’s one of the more pleasant things I do in my job,” he said. “People are trapped inside all day and are excited to get out on their lunch break and walk around the market.”
When construction is completed, the downtown farmers’ market will reconvene at its original home on the corner of South Salina and West Washington streets. The market is held every Tuesday until Oct. 12 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 436-4894 or visit www.downtownsyracuse.com.