March 5, 2021
Springtime brings April showers and April showers bring … flooding? Flooding from stormwater runoff is a growing problem in northern New Jersey, as development increases and large rain events become more frequent. Runoff often contains contaminants – including road salt, pesticides and other chemicals – that can pollute and damage nearby streams and rivers.
One “green infrastructure” solution to this problem is rain gardens, which are specially designed and strategically placed landscape features that capture and clean stormwater. Rain gardens are planted with native plants and lined with several layers of drainage materials that filter stormwater, removing contamination from runoff before it reaches waterways. Compared to lawns, rain gardens absorb thirty percent more water, recharging aquifers and reducing flooding. This type of green infrastructure helps to reduce elevated levels of pollution in our waterways, keeping our local water clean and protecting the health and safety of our communities.
To this end, North Jersey RC&D is excited to announce its upcoming Rain Garden Rebate Program. This free, informative program is for anyone interested in building their own rain garden, learning about the benefits they provide to our watershed, and what native plants to include in a rain garden. Chris Obropta, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, and Rachel Mackow, Wild Ridge Plants, will lead the educational component of this program, and trained Rutgers landscape architects will lead technical sessions advising participants on how to design a customized rain garden.
Educational training sessions will be held via zoom on March 30th from 12-1pm and 7-8pm. After attending an educational training, participants can sign up for a 30-minute follow-up session where they will be paired with Rutgers landscape architects to create a personalized rain garden plan for their own property. These one-on-one technical sessions will be scheduled for either April 12th or 13th. Residents of the Neshanic River and Back Brook watersheds are eligible for a rebate of up to $500 for their rain garden installation costs.
Learn more and sign up here!
The rain garden educational sessions are free and open to all. However, rebates are available only to residents of the Neshanic River and Back Brook watersheds. To register, and to see if you qualify for a rebate, visit www.northjerseyrcd.org. Please contact Hollie DiMuro at firstname.lastname@example.org or Hannah Tremblay at email@example.com with any questions. The funding for this program is provided by a NJDEP Water Quality Restoration grant awarded to North Jersey RC&D.