Belle Haven Elementary receives new rain garden

by Contributed Content on January 9, 2022

By using specially designed vegetated areas, rain gardens are a great way to capture and manage rainwater flowing from buildings and other hard surfaces before it goes untreated and unused down the storm drain. Rain gardens at schools provide significant environmental, learning, and mental health benefits for students and teachers.

The City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County (C/CAG), which is home to the San Mateo Countywide Pollution Prevention Program, funded and partnered with Ravenswood School District and Belle Haven Elementary School in Menlo Park to install a rain garden on the Belle Haven campus. The first time effort was created to help advance schoolyard greening and eco-literacy programs in the county, featuring pollution prevention as part of its overall approach to managing stormwater runoff more sustainably and using rainwater as a resource rather than a waste.

The installation project took place over the course of three days (Dec. 17-19). The rain garden planning and installation were spearheaded by Kevin Perry, principal of Urban Rain Design and C/CAG consultant with the support and help of UC Davis students, teachers and local community volunteers.

Community partner, Lyngso Garden Materials in Redwood City, donated landscape materials that helped make this project a success. The result was a newly planted rain garden featuring California native plants which will prevent small-scale flooding on campus, invite a diversity of beneficial flora and fauna, and become an outdoor classroom to support resilient learning.

In addition to this rain garden project, C/CAG will also be installing rain barrels at four different schools throughout the county before June 30, 2022, and looks forward to being able to continue supporting schoolyard greening projects like these in the future. Learn more about schoolyard greening and the Climate Ready Schools Partnership.

Other rain gardens in Menlo Park:

  • Alma Street rain garden
  • Menlo Park Library patio

Resources for residents:

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