Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station [Water Resources Program]

Rain Gardens

New Jersey Demonstration Rain Gardens ~
Urban Promise Academy

rain garden

Urban Promise Academy
27 North 36th Street, Camden, Camden County, New Jersey 08105

Google (TM) Map Site Contact(s) History Runoff Managed
Installation Plant Layout Maintenance Photographs


Google (TM) Map:

View New Jersey Demonstration Rain Gardens in a larger map

Site Contact(s):

Jeremiah Bergstrom, Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program


The Urban Promise Academy rain garden was installed to intercept, treat, and infiltrate stormwater runoff from a portion of the school's roof.

The Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program delivered a Stormwater Management in Your Schoolyard educational program to the students of Urban Promise Academy, a private charter school located in the Rosedale neighborhood of Camden, from September 2012 through May 2013.  This program consisted of eight modules on water resources lessons, which were conducted in two hour sessions with all students in grades 9-12. The students learned about watersheds, nonpoint source pollution, water conservation, the differences between grey and green infrastructure, combined and separate sewer systems, and the benefits of rain barrels and rain gardens to help alleviate flooding issues.

The students worked in small groups to produce and create documentaries on demonstration rain gardens in Camden. They researched the history of why the rain garden was installed in that particular neighborhood and how the rain garden functions at managing stormwater runoff. 

The students were also involved with a Rain Barrel Art Auction by assisting with the construction and painting of reconditioned drums from Patrick J. Kelly Drums Inc., a local company in Camden.  The proceeds from the Rain Barrel Art Auction, conducted on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, were used as a fundraiser for Urban Promise Academy. For the last session of this program, the students planted the rain garden that was installed at their school.

To address the water quality issues associated with increased stormwater runoff, demonstration projects like this rain garden are essential.

Type of Runoff Managed:

This rain garden manages stormwater runoff from a portion of the school building's roof via two redirected downspouts.


The rain garden was installed in May 2013 by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program staff and the New Jersey Tree Foundation’s Green Streets Program. The rain garden was excavated by using a skid steerer to remove the top layer of sod, and then shovels were used to reach the appropriate depth. Two downspouts that were originally directed to the lawn were redirected to the rain garden to serve as the inlets. A three inch layer of mulch was spread throughout the rain garden to help thwart weeds. The native plants that were installed by the students in this rain garden were purchased from North Creek Nurseries, Inc.

Approval to install the rain garden was granted by the Principal at Urban Promise Academy.  This rain garden was funded by a 319(h) grant from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Plant Layout:

Rain Garden Map

Rain Garden Parameters:

Rain garden size - square feet ~ coming soon!

Drainage area - square feet ~ coming soon!

Plant List:

Black-Eyed Susan
False Blue Indigo
Joe-Pye Weed
New England Aster
Purple Coneflower
Red-Twig Dogwood
Yellow Purple Coneflower

Click here to download Adobe Reader to view the rain garden map and the plant list fact sheets.


This rain garden is maintained by staff and students at Urban Promise Academy.


Click here for photographs of the Urban Promise Academy rain garden.