“Rain gardens are a great way to take a little space and use it as productive green infrastructure,” said Kyle Boehme, 22, a civil and environmental engineering major from Bridgewater who graduated in May. “They absorb a fairly large amount of water for their size.”

The second rain garden – about 200 feet long and 15 feet wide – receives runoff from a parking lot and baseball field in Memorial Field Park. The garden has 10 species of plants (800 overall) and can capture roughly 22,500 gallons of water.

“Maybe it can serve as an inspiration for a community to take care of their environment, maybe build one for their own home,” said Hannah Delos Reyes, 21, of Union. She also graduated in May with a degree in civil and environmental engineering.

Nikita Patel, another civil and environmental engineering major, joined Delos Reyes, Boehme and other students in helping to plant the second garden.

“I think they are awesome,” said Patel, 23, who is from the Colonia section of Woodbridge and graduated in May. “They have a lot of benefit to the environment as well as the community around it. I’m glad to see it constructed and our ideas implemented, so that’s very rewarding.”

Several more rain gardens are planned for public lands and private residential properties in the Tremley Point area, Guo said.

“One of the reasons is to try to convince residents to install rain gardens,” he said. “It’s educational.” 

When Superstorm Sandy assaulted New Jersey in 2012, ocean water invaded dozens of homes and the public works department in Linden’s vulnerable Tremley Point section, causing an estimated $3 million in damages.

Two years later, an ambitious project aimed at curbing flooding in the low-lying area began taking root, thanks to Rutgers University-New Brunswick engineering professor Qizhong (George) Guo and a $2.7 million National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant.

The ongoing project features rain gardens and rain barrels to intercept rainwater, an underground stormwater detention basin, ditch dredging, an enlarged culvert and major wetlands restoration. Numerous …read more

Source: Rutgers Today

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