Rain garden installed to capture stormwater runoff at IU Bloomington
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Office of Sustainability and the Campus Division have partnered to install the first on-campus, residential-area rain garden at IU Bloomington.
The rain garden at Union Street Center was designed to mitigate stormwater runoff issues. Over the span of three hours, volunteers planted 1,250 specialty plugs, chosen for their capability to retain and filter water.
"IU has given so much to me,” student volunteer Scott Klein said. “I hope this rain garden will help pay forward and inspire future students and visitors to improve and appreciate the campus environment."
This summer, over 150 potential rain garden locations were identified on campus. Rain gardens are one of the “best management practices” that are identified to transform negative impacts of stormwater runoff into positive outcomes.
Runoff at Indiana University Bloomington has increased by more than 150 million gallons over the past decade because of the increase in impervious surfaces on campus. Rain gardens have the potential to filter out runoff pollution, recharge local groundwater, improve the quality of available water and protect the campus’s Jordan River and its watershed.
IU Office of Sustainability intern Meghan Ploch heads up the rain garden initiative.
“I believe this project will lead the way for a new stormwater infrastructure on campus,” said Ploch, a School of Public and Environmental Affairs graduate student pursuing a Master of Public Affairs and Master of Science with a concentration in water resources.
The rain garden project is one of many initiatives of the Office of Sustainability in collaboration with academic units and operations on campus.