• Rain Garden Project

    The Project

    In partnership with Portland Public Schools, Environmental Services constructed a rain garden* to manage storm water runoff. The garden is the first phase of a project to protect residents on Pine Street from sewer backups in large storms. Environmental Services built a similar project at Glencoe Elementary School in 2003.

    How the Rain Garden Works

    Runoff from surrounding impervious surfaces – almost three-quarters of an acre of roof and asphalt – drains to the rain garden. Entering runoff spreads through the low areas planted with sedges and rushes. Sediment drops out and pollutants and nut4rients are removed through a number of natural processes. The runoff gradually soaks into the ground; the system is designed to dry out within a day of a storm event. An overflow standpipe guarantees the maximum pond depth will be no more than six inches.

    How it Looks

    The infiltration areas are planted with a mix of low-lying plants that thrive in variable moisture conditions. The trees will provide shade for the surrounding classrooms and their deep roots will promote infiltration. A small fence and border plants create a barrier to access; it’s very important that people stay out of the facility for their safety, as well as the health of the plants.

    Education Opportunities

    Environmental Services is working with the school community to make the rain garden a safe a attractive part of the school grounds. The rain garden also has the potential to become an educational resource. Some science teachers are already planning to use the garden as an outdoor classroom, and an education specialist from Environmental Services has committed to provide core maintenance services for ten years. The two organizations will continue to explore options to make the rain garden a valued amenity for the school and surrounding community.

    For More Information:

    Please contact Rhetta Drennan at 503-823-6006, or email at rhettad@bes.ci.porland.or.us

    * "Rain garden" is a general name for a variety of landscaped storm water facilities that capture and filter runoff, allowing it to soak into the ground. In this case the facility is technically an infiltration planter.

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