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PNovember 30, 2012

Rain Garden Landscaping: Reducing Harmful Runoff

At the intersection of Delaware Avenue and DuPont Street, in the heart of Trolley Square, sits an attractive display of small plants and shrubs designed to serve an important purpose: capture the storm water runoff from an adjacent parking surface and keep it from entering the storm sewers. This type of landscaping is called a rain garden. Don’t be surprised if you begin to see these types of planting beds popping up throughout our region in the near future!

According to the Rutgers University Cooperative Extension, a rain garden is a landscaped depression designed to collect runoff from rooftops, roadways, parking lots, and lawn areas during and after a precipitation event. The water collected slowly filters into the ground, reducing the amount of harmful runoff that ends up polluting our local bodies of water and groundwater supply.

Many of our projects already utilize rain gardens as a storm water best management practice. But now, EDiS is teaming up with our neighbors at the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary to create a rain garden in our parking lot at 110 S. Poplar Street. As we have already begun the process of planning the garden, we have learned that it is a simple and rewarding activity to do with your co-workers! By next spring our goal is to have completed our very own functional rain garden in one of our parking lot islands!

Now, for the next step: What measures can you take to help the environment? You can create your own rain garden at your home or business! Information on how to design and build rain gardens can be found at www.raingardensforthebays.org.


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