Dave Nelson, Manager of Horticulture and Grounds, and I were fortunate to have been invited to this year’s Student Poster Session for Professor Karen Berger’s Hydrology and Water Resources class on December 12. Unfortunately we were only able to review four of the thirteen presentations:
Rain gardens in the George Graham Smith Plaza: Andrew Haber, Tucker McKeown and Jamie Wallisch
Rain gardens behind Susan B. Anthony Hall: Javier de Leon Barrelier and Daniel Parker
Library Lot Revitalization Green Infrastructure project: Charlotte Caldwell, Miriam Grigsby, Max Lowenstein, Edward Ruppel, Abigail Stark
Buckland Creek Project Evaluation: Haberly Kahn and Eleni Wechsler
Each of the three raingarden proposals had interesting aspects and benefits. The Graham Smith Plaza proposal took a space that is underutilized and typically only used by Dining staff for smoking. They designed a plaza that would be appealing to students and staff. The students took into account the initiative for reduction of smoking on campus. An additional benefit of this proposal is that they included the retention of the pear trees in the rain garden. The described a significant amount of water would be diverted into the garden and eliminated from the stormwater drain system.
The rain garden behind Susan B. Anthony is at a location where water typically puddles during rain storms and took advantage of the pre-existing conditions. They had an excellent selection of native vegetation. The student were also interested in providing improvement in the landscape appearance over the existing lawn area.
The students who presented the Library Lot proposal not only included a rain garden, but also added pervious pavement and a pervious sidewalk to increase the diversion of rain water from the stormwater drain system. The garden location took advantage of existing conditions. This group also took into consideration the cost of the project and therefore only suggested pervious pavement at the natural drainage area.
Finally the students who evaluated Buckland Creek project found that although the project benefited the environment, the impact was not large enough to be worth the cost. They recommended using the funding to educate homeowners and work with them to perform the installations of rain barrels and rain gardens at their own cost.
I was very impressed at the quality of the analysis and found the recommendations quite promising. Thanks to Karen Berger for inviting me and Dave Nelson. We will keep in mind the recommendations as we move forward with green infrastructure projects on River Campus.
Written by: Patricia Beaumont, Director Support Operations
Photo by: K M CBG Plant Science Cntr – Rain Garden, Asclepias tuberosa Butterfly Weed, Carex emoryi Emory’s Sedge 150623