Glencoe Elementary School has three main components to a stormwater management system. A bioswale runs the length of the parking lot, capturing all the runoff from that large impervious area, and allowing it to infiltrate through three large holding areas. When heavy rains occur, the water ponds behind the logs, slowing the flow. The bio-swale is planted with native grasses and plants which also help slow down the water flow while maintaining a landscaped effect. To learn more about this project, click here.
Secondly, the street runoff from two streets is diverted into a beautifully designed, semi-circular shaped raingarden. The runoff moves through the garden, resulting in water quality improvements as well as infiltration. Most of the water infiltrates through the soils, never making it into the sewer system. If the rain is heavy enough, the raingarden will send the excess runoff back to the sewer system, but at a rate that protects the residents from sewer backups. The system is designed to pond briefly, draining within a day of the rain event. The raingarden was planted in the month of September with a variety of low-lying native plants. An important design was to create a visually open landscape area. A curb, a fence, and the plantings create a barrier to access. To learn more about this project, click here.
Thirdly, runoff from a portable classroom is diverted through downspout disconnects into a bioswale in the outdoor classroom, an area planted with native Oregon plants and designed with a large gathering area for students. Areas are set aside for classrooms that wish to plant crops and study their growth. Parents and students both take active parts in maintaining the garden throughout the year. When the weather is warm and dry, you will always find classes taking place in our garden.
The three pieces together have helped eliminate a long-standing problem of basement flooding in neighborhood homes during large rain events. The City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services designed and installed the parking lot bioswale and the large raingarden, and is working with the school district to maintain them.
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