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SCMUA-WRWMG Installs its 1st Rain Garden at McKeown Elementary

Monday, October 24, 2016


Kindergarten-6th grade students at McKeown Elementary School in Hampton Township assisted the SCMUA-Wallkill River Watershed Management Group with the installation of a rain garden on the school’s property. Rain gardens are vegetated depressions that are planted with native plants to treat stormwater runoff from the school’s roof. They allow polluted rain water to slowly infiltrate into the ground, rather than flowing directly into storm drains that lead to the Paulins Kill River. This rain garden is the first of several stormwater projects that the WRWMG hopes to install on the school grounds.

The design plans for the project were created by Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program. At over 3,800 square feet, the McKeown rain garden is the largest rain garden that Rutgers has installed in New Jersey. Annually, the rain garden will capture, treat, and infiltrate over 500,000 gallons of stormwater runoff.

The day’s events built upon the longstanding partnership that the WRWMG has developed with McKeown Elementary School faculty and students; however, several additional local and conservation partners helped to make the rain garden installation a tremendous success including Cerbo’s Nursery, Hampton Township Board of Ed, Hampton Township DPW, Ed Ramm of Land Power LLC, New Jersey Audubon, and Rutgers Water Resources Program.

In the coming weeks, students are looking forward to continuing to water and weed the rain garden to help ensure the long-term survivability of the plant materials. In the words of one Kindergartener, “Now all McKeown Elementary students will be the guardians of the garden.”

Click here to see press coverage about the event.