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Rain Gardens

Rain Garden Rebate Program

In October 2014, staff from NJWSA, Rutgers Water Resources Program, and the Leadership Somerset Class of 2014 installed three rain gardens at the Carol Pager Sports Complex / Exchange Field in Somerville as a demonstration project for the Rain Garden Rebate Program. The rain gardens collect water from Green Street, keeping polluted water from the road out of the Peters Brook. Below is a video about the project.

 

rain garden rebate program

What is a Rain Garden?

A rain garden is a landscaped, shallow depression that allows for rain and runoff to be collected and then either infiltrates into the soil or evapotranspirates to the atmosphere. Rain gardens reduce the quantity of water that reaches our waterways and improve the quality of water by filtering polluted runoff. During rainstorms, much of the water quickly washes into the streets from yards, sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots. This water carries many pollutants including pesticides, fertilizers, animal waste, and chemicals. Excessive runoff can lead to flooding and can erode stream banks, adding sediment to waterways.

Rain gardens are designed to collect runoff from roofs, lawn, driveways, or sidewalks, or any combination of those. The size and depth of the garden will be determined by the volume of runoff that will reach the garden and the soil texture of the site. Rain garden plants should be native hardy perennial species that can survive in both wet and dry conditions. Some rain garden maintenance will be required, including weeding, pruning, and removing sediment that accumulates.

Contact New Jersey's "One Call" system at 1-800-272-1000 for a free markout of underground gas, water, sewer, cable, telephone, and electric utility lines prior to any outdoor construction or digging.

Rain Garden Resources

Rutgers Water Resources Program - Rain Gardens Information
Rutgers Water Resources Program - Rain Garden Brochure
Native Plant Society of New Jersey

Rain Garden Projects

rain garden rain garden Quail Brook Rain Garden
Manasquan River -
Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore
Peters Brook -
Van Derveer Rain Gardens
Quail Brook Rain Garden

Quail Brook Rain Garden: Somerset Co. Park Commission (installed July 2013)

The Somerset County Park Commission's special projects team led by Ed Highland worked with NJWSA staff to install a 330- square foot rain garden at Quail Brook Golf Course in Franklin Township. The rain garden was part of Quail Brook's ongoing actions through the River-Friendly Golf Course program.
The rain garden is located next to the senior center and clubhouse. The rain garden collects runoff from approximately 500 square feet of roof and 900 square feet of impervious paths. Some of the native plants installed include blue lobelia, soft rush, bitter panic grass, fox sedge, and red columbine.

Quail Brook Golf Course is located within the Raritan River watershed and drains to the Delaware & Raritan Canal, an important drinking water supply. New Jersey Water Supply's source water protection fund provided the funding for this project.

Manasquan River - Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore (installed July 2011)

Cadette Girl Scout Troop 68 from Toms River worked with NJWSA staff to install a 550-square foot rain garden at the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore Program Activity Center in Farmingdale. The Program Activity Center is located within the Yellow Brook Watershed, which is part of the Manasquan River Watershed. This rain garden collects runoff from 1200 square feet of roof from the Program Activity Center.The Girl Scouts who completed this project for their Silver Award, chose native plants such as Butterfly Milkweed, Turtlehead, Purple Coneflower, Cinnamon Fern, and Witchhazel to fill the rain garden and its berm. Additional technical support was provided by Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Monmouth County.

Peters Brook - Van Derveer Rain Gardens (installed June 2010)

Two 250 square foot rain gardens were installed as part of Van Derveer Elementary School's efforts to become a certified River-Friendly School. Prior to the installation, the Lower Raritan AmeriCorps NJ Watershed Ambassador presented the basics of watersheds, best management practices, and rain gardens to the fourth grade classes. The Somerset County Park Commission provided equipment and staff for site preparation, and staff from Rutgers Water Resources Program provided the design and installation oversight. The rain gardens were funded through a grant from the New Jersey Water Resources Research Institute as part of a larger project being conducted by Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Somerset County. The fourth grade students assisted with the planting, which included Soft Rush, Blue Lobelia, False Sunflower, Purple Coneflower, Boneset, and Joe Pye Weed.

Manalapan Brook - Thompson Park Rain Garden (installed April 2010)

This rain garden at Thompson Park in Monroe Township and Jamesburg Borough was installed as a demonstration project for the Manalapan Brook Watershed Restoration and Protection Plan. This rain garden receives water from approximately 12,800 square feet of parking lot at the park. Designed by Princeton Hydro, this rain garden has a perforated PVC underdrain to accommodate the large volume of water that the garden will capture. Some of the native plants installed include Coneflowers, Wild Bergamot, Summersweet, and Joe Pye Weed. This rain garden was a cooperative effort between the Middlesex County Parks and Recreation, the Middlesex County Planning Department, Rutgers Cooperative Extension and Water Resources Program. Funding for this rain garden was part of the Watershed Restoration and Protection Plan, a federal Clean Water Act 319 (h) grant from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.


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