Students at the Grace Wilday Junior High School in Roselle, NJ, returned to school this September to a newly installed rain garden, a 2,000 sq. ft. construction in the school’s front yard, thanks to the Rutgers Cooperative Extension’s (RCE) Water Resources Program, the Roselle Department of Public Works and its outgoing 8th grade class.
Constructed before the end of the last school year, the rain garden includes various native plant species and has the capacity to store, filter, and treat over 400,000 gallons of stormwater annually.
In addition to the installation, staff of the RCE Water Resources Program imparted fun and educational information about water pollution and ways in which a rain garden is beneficial to the environment. Rain gardens are shallow landscaped depressions designed to capture, treat, and infiltrate stormwater runoff and are an effective way in which communities can help reduce stormwater runoff, manage flows to sewer systems, and protect water resources. The interactive presentation and installation is part of a widespread and ongoing “Stormwater Management in your Schoolyard” project that is funded by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
According to the RCE Water Resources Program, the Grace Wilday Junior High School’s rain garden will serve as a model for county residents who are interested in controlling stormwater runoff and recharging the groundwater and will serve as a living outdoor lab for all the students at the school to learn about water pollution and stormwater management.
The Grace Wilday Junior High School’s rain garden is located at 400 Brooklawn Avenue in Roselle, NJ. For more information, visit the RCE Water Resources Program’s website http://water.rutgers.edu or contact Josue Falaise, Ph.D., principal of the Grace Wilday Junior High School, at (908) 298-2040.