UConn Office of Environmental Policy

Promoting sustainability at UConn

NRCA Students Help to Renovate a Campus Rain Garden

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Despite our best intentions, sometimes things don’t go as planned. As part of its commitment to reducing stormwater impacts to our local streams, UConn installed a rain garden at Mansfield Apartments in 2010. Unfortunately, it was not maintained and the garden failed. Fortunately, a collaboration of several groups helped to renovate this garden and restore its functionality.

1

Rain garden before renovation. Turf dams had grown in and prevented water from entering, and all of the plants had died.

UConn’s landscape services provided heavy equipment to removed excess material from the garden, and they also provided stone for the “river channel” to prevent erosion. New plants were purchased with help from the Office of Environmental Policy though the UConn Campus Sustainability Fund. Students from UConn’s Natural Resources Conservation Academy (http://nrca.uconn.edu) used the garden as their project during their week-long natural resources field experience on campus. This exciting program brings high school students from around the state to UConn to learn about many different aspects of natural resource conservation. Working with Mike Dietz, students replanted and mulched the rain garden, and prepared a presentation about the project to all of the parents on the final day of the NRCA.

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So in the end, functionality has been restored to a failed rain garden, and the project turned into positive learning experience for an outstanding group of students!

 

Michael Dietz, PhD

Water Resources Educator

CT Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) Progam/CT Sea Grant Program
University of Connecticut

Author: UConn OEP

The Office of Environmental Policy at the University of Connecticut brings together students, faculty, staff, and the community for a more environmentally sustainable campus.

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