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[BETHEL] – An innovative approach to storm water management and beautification was formally dedicated on September 2 at Lake Superior State Park in Bethel. The Lake Superior rain garden captures runoff from the concession roof and allows it to soak slowly into the ground.
Rain gardens are attractive landscaped areas planted with deep-rooted native plants and grasses that slow down the rush of runoff from hard surfaces such as roofs, sidewalks, parking lots, driveways and even lawns. They actively manage storm water by filtering out pollutants that compromise water quality and threaten wildlife. Rain gardens are an effective way to improve the overall health of water systems.
The Lake Superior rain garden is a partnership among Sullivan County Division of Planning and Environmental Management, Sullivan County Division of Public Works (DPW), Sullivan Renaissance and the Tri-Valley Central School Natural Resources Class. The project was designed by planning staff and Tri-Valley students, who then installed the garden under the direction of their instructor Robert Hayes. Participating students were: Dustin Brackman, Jaxon Denman, Robert Frunzi, Joseph Kinzie, Christopher Lake Jr., James Mercado, Thomas Monforte, Anthony Perry, David Phelps Jr., James Ruhlin, Erin Smith, Julia Spriggens and Lindsey Staesser. DPW staff assisted with construction.
“We hope that this project will inspire others to consider how to use gardens and work with the natural landscape to address issues of erosion and storm water runoff,” said Denise Frangipane of Sullivan Renaissance, who welcomed everyone to the dedication.
County Planner Jill M. Weyer explained how the rain garden works and described the plants that have been included. Other speakers included: County Legislator Kathleen Labuda, who chairs the public works committee, County Legislator David Sager, whose district includes Lake Superior Park; County Manager David Fanslau; and new Planning Commissioner Luiz Aragon.
The demonstration project includes educational brochures and plans to install an interpretive sign discussing this practical and natural solution. Native plants used in the garden were purchased at Butterfly Botanicals in Bloomingburg and Catskill Harvest Market in Ferndale.
The rain garden was a special environmental demonstration funded by Sullivan Renaissance, a beautification and community development program principally funded by the Gerry Foundation. Additional funding has been secured by NYS Senator John J. Bonacic and Assemblywoman Aileen M. Gunther.
For more information, visit www.sullivanrenaissance.org or call 845-295-2445.