By Susan Harris, TTF Project Manager and owner of Cerulean LLC
The project goals for the Jenkintown Creek restoration include stormwater management, water quality improvements, and education. Our objective was to reduce the volume of pollutant loads and stormwater runoff entering the Jenkintown Creek.
The two rain gardens installed are both approximately 2,000 square feet in size. The rain garden below Manor College manages 13,500 square feet of runoff from the adjacent parking lot, and the rain garden at Abington Friends manages 17,000 square feet of runoff from the parking lot there. The rain gardens capture and filter runoff which was previously flowing directly to the Creek.
Compacted clay soils were removed and replaced with compost, sand, and topsoil which have greater void space and capability to store stormwater. The rain gardens were seeded with deep-rooted native grasses which improve filtration by removing pollutants from the runoff. In the spring, TTF and Abington Friends students will plant the rain garden at the school with flowers and shrubs.
These projects will improve the quality of the stormwater which flows to the Creek off of the parking lots. It has also provided the opportunity to involve students in a valuable lesson on the importance of clean water by providing ongoing hands-on environmental education related to stormwater management and water quality improvements.
TTF is continuing to focus on water quality improvements in the Jenkintown Creek watershed and will be completing installation of two additional rain gardens, streambank restoration, and floodplain storage features in 2016 on neighboring properties.
These projects were made possible with funding from the Delaware River Restoration Fund, a partnership between the Open Space Institute and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, with major funding from the William Penn Foundation as well as the TreeVitalize Watershed Grant program, managed by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Growing Greener program, and the PA Carbon Reduction Fund, funded by WGL Energy and Sterling Planet.
You can read an Abington Friends student’s perspective on this project here, and a blog post about the Saint Basil Academy portion of the project here. Keep your eyes peeled for news about the Headwater Playground ribbon cutting in April!