Since obtaining a significant grant from the Ohio Lake Erie Commission, University of Findlay has broken ground on a new raingarden to help prevent stormwater runoff.
Students, faculty, and staff of Findlay’s Department of Biology and the Physical Plant worked alongside the Blanchard River Watershed Partnership (BRWP) to bring this project to life.
The goal of this project is to trap pollutants and sediments in stormwater, and to reduce the rate at which water flows into the Blanchard River. Construction is set to begin the week of May 10, 2021 with hopes of being completed summer 2021.
“I was awed by the number of people who came to the groundbreaking, and grateful for the support from my colleagues,” stated Benjamin Dolan, Ph.D., associate professor of biology and director of natural areas and plant collections. “There’s always a great deal of excitement for new campus improvement projects, and this one is unique because it not only beautifies a small corner of campus, it also addresses water quality issues in our watershed.”
Lauren Sandhu, watershed coordinator for BRWP, explained, “once the project is completed, students will be able to utilize the raingarden site as a study area. There will eventually be a walking path that will connect the site to the Sensory Garden, and there will also be some benches which will provide a nice seating area.”
Faculty from the College of Sciences are working to involve students in a variety of ways. Students in a number of courses will use the raingarden as a case study for learning about wetland function and their importance for flood and nutrient reduction. Upper-level biology students will also have opportunities to conduct research in fields such as water quality, vegetation, and birds.
“As we were planning this project, we knew that we wanted to include an educational component for UF students,” said Sandhu. “Our hope is that by involving students in the research and monitoring of the effectiveness of this site, they will be left with an understanding of the importance of utilizing nature to alleviate issues such as water quality impairment and flooding.”
This project is funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, provided as a sub-grant from the Ohio Lake Erie Commission to assist in finding solutions for cleaner water and a healthier ecosystem.
Additional details on the project can be found the Dec. 2020 press release. For more information on UF’s Biology Program, visit the Biology webpage, or contact the Office of Admissions at 419-434-4732 or email@example.com.
Pictures of the groundbreaking can be found in the University’s Flickr album.