Ferry Avenue Rain Garden

In February and March 2011, the CCMUA, along with the Camden County Soil Conservation District and the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program, and the RCE of Camden County, conducted a two-day training workshop on rain garden planning, design, construction, and maintenance for landscape professionals and Camden City residents.  At this educational program, participants were provided with instructional seminars and a manual outlining the practice of installing and maintaining a rain garden.  Over 40 participants attended the training program and received instruction on rain gardens.  The second day of this program was held at the vacant lot across from the CCMUA administration building where again over 40 participants joined the RCE Water Resources Program staff in completing the installation of this demonstration rain garden.

The Ferry Avenue Rain Garden included a tree and shrub planting organized by the New Jersey Tree Foundation and held during April, 2011.  The garden is approximately 800-900 square feet and is located near a low-lying intersection which frequently floods during storm events.  The stormwater enters the rain garden through three (3) curb cuts.

Approximately 8 cubic yards of a 50% sand and 50% compost soil blend was tilled into the existing soil, then 2 cubic yards of top soil was spread throughout the rain garden.  These amendments were added to improve both the rain garden’s infiltration rate and soil nutrient capacity. The native plants that were installed in the rain garden were purchased from Pinelands Nursery & Supply.  This rain garden was funded by a 319(h) grant from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and from the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority.

This rain garden helps to mitigate nuisance flooding in the area and reduces nonpoint source pollution and stormwater that would otherwise discharge into the City of Camden’s combined sewer system.  This rain garden is part of the Cooper River Watershed. The Cooper River Watershed is characterized by extensive residential and commercial development. As a result its streams are severely impacted by increased stormwater runoff.  To address the water quality issues associated with increased stormwater runoff, demonstration projects like this rain garden are essential.

The rain garden was installed to beautify the site and to intercept, treat, and infiltrate stormwater runoff from Ferry Avenue and Webster Street.  The garden is four to six inches deep and can intercept runoff from 2,000-3,000 square feet of surrounding roadways.  The rain garden provides additional storage for stormwater runoff helping to alleviate the nuisance flooding routinely plaguing the surrounding community.  The completed rain garden can capture, treat, and infiltrate over 75,000 gallons of stormwater each year.