Chesterfield Elementary Rain Garden

Girl Scout Troop 25013 led by Chesterfield Green Team member, Lorrie Thier  worked along with the approval of Chesterfield Township, the Chesterfield Elementary School Board of Education and Administration and members of the Chesterfield Township Environmental Commission and Green Team to install rain gardens at the Chesterfield Elementary School.  The gardens were completed and opened to the public during a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on June 8th. 2015. During this ceremony the girls provided information and answered questions that attendees had regarding the rain gardens. Attendees included Chesterfield Township Committee members, Chesterfield Environmental Commission members, Chesterfield’s Green Team members, School officials, students and parents from the community.

The Girl Scouts also ran a booth at the Chesterfield Green Fair on May 9, 2015 where information on the project and information on why rain gardens are a necessity in our growing community and the steps needed in the planning and installation of rain gardens was provided.

To ensure the garden’s continued growing success the girls and their families have continued to weed and prune the gardens weekly. There has been a gardening club established for students at the school to begin in the fall of 2015. This club will further educate students and their families on the importance of establishing rain gardens, provide them with native plants to install into their own personal rain gardens as well as taking over the care of the weeding and pruning of the gardens throughout the school year.

Information on the project, photos of the gardens in various stages and the resources that were used to complete the gardens are posted on the Chesterfield Township web site under the Chesterfield Environmental Commission/Green Team tab.

The resources used by the Girl Scouts included Jane Ryan, a Chesterfield Township Environmental Commission and Green Team member, who provided the planting plans and provided the Girl Scouts with many of the native plants used in these gardens. Soil tests were conducted by Rutgers Soil Testing Laboratory. The girls also used the guidelines laid out in the Rutgers Rain Garden Manual of New Jersey and had a Burlington County Master Gardener, Mr.  Haverland come in as a guest speaker during the beginning stages of the project. Monetary resources to cover additional plantings that were not donated, soil and mulch were all covered by the Girl Scout Troop’s fundraising account.