Joseph R. Bolger Middle School Demonstration Rain Garden

100 Palmer Place
NJ 07734

Joseph R. Bolger Middle School Demonstration Rain Garden

Rasgo AcuáticoEducación AmbientalEco Paisajismo


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The Joseph R. Bolger Middle School rain garden was installed as part of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Monmouth County Rain Garden Program. Two rain gardens, side-by-side, were designed to be an interpretive education tool while simultaneouly solving a difficult drainage problem in the courtyard, which also holds temporary classroom trailers. Financial support was provided by grant funding from Rutgers Cooperative Extension 4-H and Verizon.

Type of Runoff Managed:

This rain garden manages stormwater from the roof of the Joseph R. Bolger Middle School building. In total, three downspouts from the building have been diverted into two rain gardens. The courtyard often suffers from an ineffective drainage system that limits access and usage of the temporary classroom trailers. By diverting a large portion of the rooftop runoff from the main building into rain gardens, the temporary classroom trailers are less susceptible to problems caused by storm events.


Faculty, staff and Master Gardener volunteers from Rutgers Cooperative Extension provided technical assisstance in the site design, plant layout and installation oversight of the project. The school’s maintenance staff played an important role during the planning and installation phase of the project. Heavy excavation was performed with machinery operated (in-kind) by Vince Papa of the school's maintenance department. A berm was installed for each rain garden. The existing soil, which was high in clay, was removed and reused for each berm.

After excavation, the rain gardens were each installed with a gravel base layer and backfilled (except for a ponding area) with a mixture of sand, topsoil and leaf compost. Using land survey equipment, care was taken to ensure that the slope of the courtyard conveyed water from the downspouts into each rain garden. After heavy excavation, plants and mulch were installed in addition to a walking path and a fence. Native plants were generously donated by Pinelands Nursery. Additional in-kind services were generously provided by Guardian Lawn Service.

Plant List :

Black Eyed Susan
Blue Flag Iris
Blue Lobelia
Blue Rug
Butterfly Bush
Cinnamon Fern
Green Sedge
Inkberry Holly
Joe Pye Weed
Little Blue Stem
New York Aster
River Birch
Soft Rush
Swamp Milkweed
Sweet Pepperbush
Virginia Sweetspire
Winterberry Holly


The rain garden is maintained by the Master Gardeners of Monmouth County and the students and maintenance staff of Joseph R. Bolger Middle School.


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One Month After Installation

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