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Enter the Rain Garden, at the Village Elementary School

Before the spring bloom, we take a look at the structure and features of the Village School Rain Garden. The HFEE is raising money Friday night to finish the sophisticated project at the Village School.

The fascinating Village School "Rain Garden" is nearly done, On Friday night, the Holmdel Foundation for Educational Excellence hopes to raise the final $22,000 to purchase and install two self contained learning centers with weatherproof tables, seating and benches.

This newly transformed space will be used as a spectacular outdoor "hands-on" educational area for all students and staff to enjoy for many years to come.  To learn more about rain gardens, check out water.rutgers.edu.

This project was designed and constructed by part of the Ramanessin Brook Watershed plan. The runoff water from the Village School was eroding and polluting the Ramanessin Brook, and hence the Monmouth County’s water supply.

In September 2010, Village School's old asphalt courtyard was transformed to include four rain gardens, an educational area, rain barrels and beautiful tree plantings. Water runoff from the roof is treated and recycled for use in the garden.

The plan is funded through the Clean Water Act 319(h) grant program.  Omni Environmental LLC of Princeton was the lead project coordinator and engineering firm. The construction was managed by the Monmouth County Parks system and completed by the Down to Earth Landscaping Inc. of Jackson.

Rutgers Cooperative Extension advised the Village school students and staff on additional garden designs, educational components and plantings by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension. 

The garden has had the support of the Holmdel Township Board of Education and the township Environmental Commission. NJ American Water provided a grant. 

Friends of Holmdel Open Space has been a supporter of the Village School Rain Garden from the beginning. "When we learned of HFEE's proposal to improve access as an outside classroom, our Trustees were anxious to provide whatever assistance we could," said FOHS President Bill Cahill. "The proper management of our waste water is the next big challenge in protecting our streams and the quality of our drinking water. This teaching opportunity is an extremely important step in meeting that challenge." 

The HFEE gives extra funding in every grade level for special programs, special programs, schoolroom educational items/equipment and much more.

To help finish the rain garden, the HFEE is hosting “Casino Night” at Sterling Garden in Matawan this Friday, April 1st at 7:00 p.m. for $75 per person. The event sold out on March 31. 

All funds raised in  2010-2011 will go directly to the completion of the Rain Garden. 

The rain garden was photographed by landscape photographer Angie McKenzie. 

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