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WEST HAVEN, Aug. 21, 2019 — The city’s first rain garden has been installed at Pagels Elementary School.
The 270-square-foot garden, constructed just off the school bus drop-off and pickup lane by Benham Hill Road, can treat more than 40,000 gallons of stormwater per year.
The project is the result of a collaboration with the UConn Center for Land Use Education and Research, which analyzed and reported on several potential sites in West Haven for tackling stormwater runoff reduction last year.
CLEAR, based in Haddam, provides information, education and assistance to land use decision-makers in support of balancing growth and natural resource protection.
Stormwater management is necessary to reduce flooding and protect bodies of water from pollutants that collect on roads, parking lots and driveways and flow into storm sewers.
Rain gardens are designed to collect runoff and allow the water to percolate through soil before finding its way to rivers and Long Island Sound. Typically, they are planted with native perennials that also function as carbon sinks — natural reservoirs that store carbon-containing chemical compounds accumulated over time — and provide habitat for wildlife, including birds and butterflies.
The gardens also require less maintenance and virtually no inputs, such as fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides — all of which contaminate the runoff instead of purifying it.
(City Photo/Robin D. Parsons)