Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station [Water Resources Program]

Rain Gardens

New Jersey Demonstration Rain Gardens ~
Collier High School




Collier High School

160 Conover Road, Wickatunk, Monmouth County, New Jersey 07765

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


    Site Contact(s):

Christopher Obropta, Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program


The Collier High School rain garden was installed to capture, treat, and infiltrate stormwater runoff from a portion of the school’s roof via two redirected downspouts.

The potential to install a rain garden at Collier High School was identified through site assessments that were conducted as part of a grant the Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) Water Resources Program received: “National Fish and Wildlife Foundation ~ Incorporating Green Infrastructure resiliency in the Raritan River Basin.” A deliverable for the grant included visiting 54 towns within the Raritan River Basin and identifying locations were green infrastructure could be installed. 

After meeting with Linda Librizzi (a passionate science teacher) and proposing the installation of a rain garden outside her classroom window, she immediately was excited about the project and the educational and therapeutic opportunities it would provide her students. Linda obtained the necessary approvals from the school after explaining the benefits it would contribute to her curriculum and the environmental benefits it would add to the campus grounds.  The location of the rain garden is ideal for demonstrating to the students what a rain garden is and how it works to enhance wildlife habitat and alleviate stormwater runoff issues.

  Type of Runoff Managed:

This rain garden manages stormwater runoff from a portion of the school roof through two downspouts, which were causing water to pond behind the building. To help alleviate the issue, the downspouts were redirected into the rain garden.


This rain garden was designed by the RCE Water Resources Program and installed by Enviroscapes, Inc.  An excavator was used to remove approximately 60 cubic yards of native soil, and 12 inches of 70% sand and 30% soil blend was added to the base of the rain garden to promote infiltration. A three-inch layer of shredded hardwood mulch was added to hinder weeds and retain moisture, leaving a six-inch open ponding area. The inlets were made by disconnecting the downspouts and redirecting them into trenches through PVC pipes that enter through river stone.  The native plants used in this rain garden were installed by the RCE Water Resources Program staff, interns, and students and faculty from Collier High School. The plants were purchased from Pinelands Nursery & Supply

Funding for this project is provided by the Department of the Interior through a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Competitive Grant Program.

    Plant Layout:

    Rain Garden Map:  

Click here for the Collier High School design plan

    Rain Garden Parameters:

Rain garden size - 1,045 square feet (annual runoff volume captured – 108,911 gallons)

Drainage area - 2,850 square feet

    Plant List:

Black-Eyed Susan’s
Blue Mistflower
Joe-Pye Weed
Little Bluestem
Soft Rush
Swamp Milkweed


This rain garden is maintained by students and faculty.


Click here for photographs of the Collier High School rain garden.