Bernardsville became much more water-friendly this spring with informational and hands-on programs. First at the Bernardsville Public Library with a presentation on how to make your backyard, school yard, parks and businesses more beautiful and ecologically sustainable while saving money. Followed by a hands-on event on April 2, which curiously enough was rained out. See photos (1-4) with volunteers from the Community Garden: Wanda Knapik, director, Mark and Sybil Cozin, Rosalie Baker, Courtney Sikes, and Mara Tippett, AmeriCorps NJ Watershed Ambassador for the Upper Raritan, and Kristi MacDonald, Bernardsville Environmental Commission & Raritan River Coalition. See more photos (5-10) taken on April 22 preparing the soil bed by Mara, Kristi, and Peter Birnbaum, Borough Council.
Then on Sunday, May 1, despite more rainy weather, a new, ecologically sustainable rain garden was planted near the Community Garden on the Dunster Squibb property on Route 202 and Spring House Road in Bernardsville. See photos (6-19) of the planting. The rain garden was created to capture rainwater, allowing it to soak naturally into the soil, thereby reducing problems with storm water runoff and helping to recharge the groundwater aquifer. In addition, the carefully selected native plants will filter and reduce pollutants such as sediments, nutrients and pesticides. Tags with the names of the plants were left on for identification to educate community residents who visit the garden and encourage them to install their own rain gardens. The gardeners in the photos are Kevin Sooy, Mayor of Bernardsville, and his wife Veronica, Mara Tippett, AmeriCorps NJ Watershed Ambassador for the Upper Raritan, Kristi MacDonald, Bernardsville Environmental Commission & Raritan River Coalition, and Peter Birnbaum, Bernardsville Borough Council. The rain garden is part of a larger program to help Bernardsville become more river friendly and is co-sponsored by Raritan Headwaters, the Bernardsville Green Team and Environmental Commission. Funding for the native plants was provided by North Jersey RC&D and Wild Ridge Nursery. Photography by Ed English, Green Team. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.