After approximately one week of construction and installation of the necessary footer and drainage material, students from ArcTech successfully planted indigenous flowers and shrubbery atop a new rain garden that has been installed on the east side of its building. The rain garden, approximately 10’ x 30’ in size, will drain and filter rain water from the roof of the ArcTech building, through a series of permeable materials underneath the surface of the soil, for periodic monitoring of the chemistry of the water. The idea came from ArcTech’s Matt Rutkowski, when he encountered a contest sponsored by ABS Materials at a local festival with a grand prize of a free rain garden, with an approximate $10,000 in value. He entered the contest, ArcTech won, and the students will now benefit from the collaborative effort conceived from its installation.
ABS Materials is a private firm which specializes in removing compounds from water, and studying their affects. In sponsoring this contest, ABS Materials sent a construction crew to dig a 4’ hole the size of the finished garden and backfill it with layers of various material, including their very own Osorb®, which is a material designed to remove particles and compounds from water. A monitoring well was placed inside the garden, which will compare the water samples after it goes through the filtration system, to the water that is sample before it enters the garden.
Students from ArcTech then planted a variety of plants and flowers on the surface of the rain garden, and students in the horticultural program at the school will maintain the garden on a regular basis. Mr. Rutkowski has more collaborative ideas planned as well, as he intends for art students from Brush High School to create murals on nearby walls and fencing. All in all, this rain garden project is a wonderful collaborative effort which will ultimately help the environment. Thank you to Mr. Rutkowski for spearheading the idea, to ABS Materials for sponsoring this program, and to the students who helped to plant materials!