Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Penn State Master Watershed Stewards Install Downspout Planters, Naturalize Stormwater Basins, Plant Live Stake Nursery With KPB, The GIANT Company Healing The Planet Grant

In 2021, the Penn State Extension
Master Watershed Steward Program received a $10,000 Healing the Planet Grant from The GIANT Company and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.  

This grant funding provided for the installation of 30 demonstration downspout planters across the state, two stormwater basin naturalization projects, and one live stake nursery installation.  [Read more here.]

The downspout planters are to be installed in the counties of Luzerne, Lackawanna, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Northampton, Philadelphia, Cumberland, Monroe, Berks and York at locations such as municipal offices, park pavilions, conservation district offices, and schools.

Stormwater basins will be naturalized on municipal property in New Britain Township, Bucks County and at Chichester High School in Delaware County.

The live stake nursery will be planted at the Lehman Sanctuary in Luzerne County.

Downspout planters are decorative landscaped planters specially designed to absorb and filter stormwater before it enters stormwater management or sewer systems. 

Downspout planters are filled with a base layer of gravel to allow for drainage, a stormwater-friendly soil mix, and native perennial vegetation that will return every spring.  

During storm events, some of the water from the roof flows into the planter and is captured. If the volume of water is greater than the capacity of the planter, it exits the planter through an overflow outlet or can be diverted back into the original downspout. 

The native plants in the planters provide pollinator habitat and beautification for homeowners. 

During June 2022, four of these demonstration downspout planters were installed by Master Watershed Steward volunteers from Cumberland County. 

One planter was installed at Hamilton Elementary School, Carlisle. One each were installed at the municipal buildings at Lower Allen Township and East Pennsboro. The fourth one was installed at Memorial Park in Mechanicsburg. 

Now that the downspout planters have been installed, Master Watershed Stewards can work with municipal staff and school faculty to develop educational materials for residents and youth to teach the importance of stormwater management and the benefit of planters such as these. 

For more information about this project, or the Master Watershed Steward program, contact the Cumberland/Franklin/Adams coordinator, Holly Smith at hps5293@psu.edu

Visit the Penn State Extension Master Watershed Steward Program webpage to find out how you can get involved.  

(Photo: Master Watershed Stewards Janey Gunn and Mechanicsburg Borough staff, Barbara Arnold  complete the downspout planter installation at Memorial Park.)

Related Articles:

-- Master Watershed Steward Program Receives Healing The Planet Grant From The GIANT Company

-- The GIANT Company, Keep PA Beautiful Announce Award Of 42 Healing The Planet Grants In PA, MD, VA, WV  [2021]

-- GIANT Foods, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Award 45 Healing The Planet Waterways, Community Improvement Grants [2022]

[Posted: July 26, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

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