Antioch University New England Installs New Rain Garden

AUNE installs rain gardenIn keeping with its commitment to long term sustainability, Antioch University New England installed an innovative, new rain garden on September 23 near the library on the front lawn of the campus. The rain garden, which grew out of Resource Management and Conservation student Kyle Turoczi’s class project, is fully funded by a grant from the New Hampshire State Conservation Committee.

Rain gardens are bowl-shaped plantings of native vegetation designed to absorb storm water run-off “including pollutants, sediment and debris”collected when rain flows over impervious surfaces such as parking areas, roof tops and compacted lawns. By capturing storm water and filtering pollutants, the rain garden will naturally reduce AUNE’s impact on the local water systems. In addition to its visual beauty, it also provides a native habitat for wildlife, serves as a living classroom, and underscores AUNE’s commitment to sustainability.

Students, faculty and alumni all contributed to the vision and design of the project, and assisted Kyle and the 2010 Watershed Science class in the installation of the garden. Students and faculty, with volunteers from the AUNE community, planted vegetation the following day. Future maintenance will be performed by the Antioch Garden Coordinators.

AUNE is the 7th rain garden host site to be funded by a grant from the New Hampshire State Conservation Committee, underwritten by proceeds from sales of the Conservation License Plate (the Moose plate). Similar projects in Keene can be found at Wheelock Elementary School, Symonds Elementary School, Keene Recreation Center, Keene Police Department and Keene Department of Public Works. Additionally, a rain garden is under construction at the Keene Waste Water Treatment Plant.

Thanks to President David Caruso; Austin Reida, of BLM Contracting; Amanda Costello, of the Cheshire County Conservation District; Libby McCann; Michael Simpson; Abigail Abrash Walton; Tom Wessels; Peter Palmiotto; Rachel Thiet; Jane Pierce; Colin Lawson; Doc Whicker; rain-garden coordinators Libby Weiland, Anna Cynar and Robin Colt; all the students who came out to help plant and the supporters who could not be present.