On Saturday, April 25th, 2009, Blair Mill Elementary School held its first Watershed Day event. There were hands on activities for the children to get involved in as well as displays from many local environmental agencies.
Watershed Day featured the following activities:
- Breaking ground on a wetlands restoration project to mitigate untreated stormwater runoff on the school property.
- Planting 190 trees and shrubs along a tributary to Pennypack Creek.
- Giving 60 rain barrels to local residents to promote stormwater management and water conservation strategies.
- Building a demonstration Rain Garden on school property (see below for additional information).
- A display for a “Lawns to Meadows” program sponsored by Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC).
- Stream Naming Contest for the students to name a tributary of Pennypack Creek.
- Installation of a 90 gallon fish tank into the school which will have native fish.
- Displays by Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission (PFBC), Philadelphia Water Department (PWD), Montgomery County Conservation District (MCCD) and the Audubon Society.
About the Rain Garden
URS Corporation (URS) designed a rain garden and provided a public workshop/planting on behalf of PWD as part of Blair Mill Elementary School’s Watershed Day event. Prior to installation of the rain garden, rooftop runoff was collected and conveyed directly to the storm drainage system. Following disconnection of the rooftop downspout, runoff from 830 feet of rooftop is now collected and discharged to the rain garden. The rain garden is 110 square feet in size and 6-7 inches deep. It is capable of storing 500 gallons of water and infiltrating it over a period of 48 hours.
In addition to providing for infiltration of rooftop runoff, the rain garden provides an amenity on school grounds, and provides a unique and interesting teaching tool for use in teaching about water, plants and the environment. Additionally, the native plants used throughout the project are a teaching tool as well. The shrubs and perennials used in this installation include: Penstemon digitalis, Itea virginiana, Callirhoe involucrate, Hypericum calycinum, Monarda didyma, Solidago sphacleta, Amsonia hubrectii, Schizachyrium scoparium, Sporobolus heterolepis, Rudbekia fulgida, Baptisia sp., Sorgastrum nutans, and Echinacea purpurea.
Watershed: Pennypack Creek
Blair Mill Elementary School
Hatboro Horsham School District
Montgomery County Conservation District
Pennsylvania Environmental Council
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
Pennypack Watershed Partnership
Philadelphia Water Department
Severn Trent Services
Total cost: $29,500
$23,000 (Includes $18,000 for Wetlands Design and $4,700 for Tree Planting)
URS Corporation (now AECOM)
100 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10017