Rutgers University Equine Science Center Demonstration Rain Garden

College Farm Road
New Brunswick
NJ 08901

Rutgers University Equine Science Center Demonstration Rain Garden

Water FeatureEnvironmental EducationEco Landscaping


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Stormwater management continues to be a growing concern for equine facilities across the State of New Jersey. State regulations are concerned that stormwater runoff from these operations is carrying nutrients and pathogens into local streams and lakes, thereby impairing the health of these waterways. The paddocks that are adjacent to the Equine Science Center barns are one main area of concern. The cleanroof top stormwater runoff can be captured and routed around the paddock area, thereby eliminating clean water from running through the manure area and over bare soil. But what about the rain water that actually falls on the paddock area? Where does this water go and how can we do a better job of minimizing the impact of this runoff on local waterways?

One of the paddocks at the Equine Science Center was retrofitted with rooftop infiltration trenches to divert the rooftop runoff around the paddock area. However, the rain water that landed on the paddock area itself continued to wash soil and manure into a drainage ditch that discharged to a local stream, thereby threatening the health of this waterway.

Type of Runoff Managed:

This rain garden was designed and built to capture and treat the stormwater runoff from the Equine Science Center paddock area.


Approximately five faculty, staff, and students from the Water Resources Program were present for the installation of the rain garden in the Summer of 2007, which was approved by the Rutgers University Equine Science Center. Staff from Rutgers University Facilities and the Department of Animal Sciences provided additional assistance with installation. A 10 foot wide by 50 foot long rain garden was designed and constructed, which included an underdrain system that connected to the previously constructed rooftop infiltration trench system. A sandy soil mix with a 10 to 15 percent organic content was used.

Plant List:

Arrowwood Viburnum
Inkberry Holly
Soft Rush
Virginia Sweetspire
Winterberry Holly


The rain garden is maintained by the Rutger Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program.


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After Installation

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