In June of 2016 North Jersey Resource Conservation and Development (NJRC&D), working with Rutgers Cooperative Extension– Water Resources program, installed a Rain Garden at the ShopRite of Flemington. This project not only serves as a demonstration project for the community to learn more about green infrastructure, it helps reduce runoff and pollution from entering a tributary to the Neshanic River.
The Neshanic River was listed in the 2008 New Jersey Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report as impaired for aquatic life and nonpoint source pollution (NPS) from bacteria, phosphorus and total suspended solids (NJDEP 2008). It is generally recognized that agriculture, rapid urban development and wildlife cause water quality contamination in the watershed.
North Jersey RC&D selected the ShopRite of Flemington as an ideal location for a rain garden demonstration project. This location is a popular shopping location for many families in the area. A .18 acre area of the parking lot ( where Route 202/31 meets Commerce Street) slopes towards a concrete channel and routed water to a catch basin on Route 202. This concrete channel was surrounded by vegetation that offers no storage options for stormwater runoff meaning stormwater runoff was not given the opportunity to infiltrate into the ground on site.
NJRC&D and Rutgers approached the ShopRite of Flemington about the possibility of a rain garden being installed. A Rain Garden is a landscaped ,shallow depression that captures, filters, and infiltrates stormwater runoff. The rain garden removes nonpoint source pollutants from stormwater runoff while recharging ground water. Rain Gardens are an important tool for communities and neighborhoods to create diverse, attractive landscapes while protecting the health of the natural environment.
NJRC&D and Rutgers proposed replacing the concrete channel that carried stormwater runoff to the detention basin with a rain garden that would allow runoff from the parking lot to infiltrate into the ground and reduce the total amount of runoff from the site. The garden was installed in June of 2016 and has served as a focal point of the ShopRite parking lot since.
PARTNERS AND FUNDING
North Jersey Resource Conservation and Development Council received fund for rain garden projects from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Water Resource Management, Division of Water Monitoring and Standards, Bureau of Environmental Analysis, Restoration and Standards 319h Grant Program. Project Partners Include: NJ RC&D and Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program