Essex County Environmental Center Demonstration Rain Garden

621 Eagle Rock Avenue
NJ 07068

Essex County Environmental Center Demonstration Rain Garden

Water FeatureEnvironmental EducationEco Landscaping


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The Essex County Environmental Center rain garden was installed as part of a rain garden educational workshop program that trained Master Gardeners of Essex County and homeowners. The workshop was conducted in two parts: a two-hour classroom session and a half-day installation of the rain garden with guided instruction.

Type of Runoff Managed:

This rain garden manages stormwater from the Essex County Environmental Center building. This building is unique in that it has a green roof with planter boxes. Runoff from the rooftop is generated only after the planter boxes are beyond their capacity or water. The Environmental Center is built along the floodplain of the Passaic River and provides a great learning opportunity for visitors interested in river ecology and recreation. However, the water table is high and, thus, stormwater management is of great concern because of the potential for flooding. A swale and berm were installed after the construction of the building. It allowed stormwater from the property to be conveyed to a nearby wetland. Several downpouts from the rooftop discharge into the swale at various points along its path. One of the downspouts was chosen to be retorofitted with a rain garden to receive water from the rooftop.


Approximately twenty-five participants from the Essex County area were present for the installation of the rain garden in April 2008. Staff from the Environmental Center, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, and Master Gardeners of Essex County assisted with the installation. Sand was added to the soil during the rain garden installation, which was donated by the Essex County Parks Department.The native plants that were installed were donated by Pinelands Nursery & Supply.

Plant List:

Blue Flag Iris
Blue Lobelia
Inkberry Holly
Marsh Marigold
Red Chokeberry
Sweet Pepperbush/Summersweet
Virginia Sweetspire
Winterberry Holly


The rain garden is maintained by the Master Gardeners of Essex County.


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After Installation

image added by rutgers.water.r...


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