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RAIN GARDENS Discovery Initiative Bill Sciarappa, Ph.D. Vivian Quinn, Program Assistant

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RAIN GARDENS Discovery Initiative. Bill Sciarappa, Ph.D. Vivian Quinn, Program Assistant. PROBLEMS & POLLUTANTS Flooding Erosion Increased Sediment Beach Closures Non-point Pollution . Stormwater. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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RAIN GARDENSDiscovery Initiative

Bill Sciarappa, Ph.D. Vivian Quinn, Program Assistant

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Development & imperviousness reduces the natural capacity of soil & vegetation to infiltrate and take up rainfall

PROBLEMS & POLLUTANTS Flooding Erosion Increased Sediment Beach Closures Non-point Pollution

Gas and oilBacteria-pet wasteEroded soilRoad saltLitterPesticidesFertilizers

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Stormwater runs over streets, parking lots & lawns & washes into streams, lakes & rivers

Polluted Stormwater

• Sedimentation Smothers aquatic life• Nitrogen ammonia kills fish• Phosphorus fertilizers Algae blooms• Salt & petrochemical contamination mortality• Bacterial peaks human health hazards

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What is a Watershed?The area of land that drains to a water body - We’re all connected through waterflows through our watershed. Restoring the natural buffers along our streams, lakes and ponds provides major environmental benefits to all citizens.

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Engineered wetlands Infiltration basinsGrassy swalesBioretention basinsRain Barrels *RAIN GARDENS*

SOLUTION: BIORETENTION minimizes impact of stormwater

Physical water retention & biological &

chemical Interaction between

soil, vegetation & water

* No permits needed

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A specially landscaped, shallow depression that captures & filters polluted stormwater runoff

Reduces pollution from non-point sources Conserves water Recharges underground water supply

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Residential – typically 100-300 sq. ft. Catch rainwater from roofFrom driveway & sidewalkAnyplace that will allow stormwater to be captured

Stormwater is directed into garden by pipes, swales, or curb openings

Home Gardens

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Wall Bike Path

Sea Girt

Asbury Park

Fair Haven

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Protecting Raritan Bay - Keyport Rain Garden

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Spring Lake Heights


Biotechnology HS

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Accumulated SedimentAccumulated Sediment

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Completed & functioning in every season

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Preliminary Observation Site Selection

Where it will receive runoff Area without ponding Select flat part of yard for easier

digging At least 10 ft. from foundation Not directly over septic system Not suitable where the seasonal high

water table level is less than 24" Full or partial sunlight – first choice Check utility markouts


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http://www.water.rutgers.edu/ Select rain gardens website

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PLANT SELECTIONS Select WET & DRY tolerant plants Suggest native plants

Do not require fertilization Absorb water more efficiently than lawns Easier to maintain Inexpensive

Different heights, shapes & textures Vary blooming times Sun & Shade varieties

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Inkberry Holly: Ilex Glabra - midsized evergreen shrub. Prefers moist soil, but can tolerate dry. 6-8'.


Cranberry Viburnum: Viburnum Trilobum - large shrub, as wide as it is tall. Bright red fruit is attractive and edible. Prefers moist, well drained soil. 6-12'

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Soft Rush: Juncus Effusus - clump forming rush which usually raches about 3' . Stems are unbranched and round in cross section. To 3'.

Wild Bergamot: Monarda Fistulosa - perennial found in dry fields, thickets, and woodland borders. 2" clusters of pale pink-lilac flowers in late summer

Blue Flag: Iris versicolor - native iris of northern wetlands with blue flowers and sword shaped leaves.


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Themed Rain Gardens• Bird & Butterfly • Tree + Shrub• Ornamental bark,

flowers, and berries• Deer Tolerant

Themed Rain Gardens

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PLANTINGArrange plants according

to light needs, spacing requirements & heights

Add a layer of mulch

Invite your friends!

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MAINTENANCE Watering – until established Weeding - occasional

Remove sediment buildup/trash/leaves at inflow & outflow Re-vegetate & add mulch as necessary Soil Testing – every 3-5 yrs NO Fertilizing – sustains itself

Pruning Deadheading

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• Function• Beauty• Value


• Rainwater wasted• Pollution created

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• Average small sized homeowner rain garden – $3 to $5/sq. ft. – yourself– $10 to $12/sq. ft. - landscaper

• Average medium landscaper built rain garden – Material - $2,000– Labor - $1,500

• Average large sized municipal rain garden demonstration Total unit cost $5,000 Expected buy-in of municipality $1,500 & boro labor, volunteer help, community equipment. Possible rain garden contest for streamside living in the municipality

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