Rain Garden

The Finn Brain Gardens

runoff in parking lot

Situated on a hill, Brandeis is constantly experiencing the effects of runoff. In certain situations this can be more harmful than others. Rain gardens are an efficient and sustainable way to prevent harmful runoff (please see Rain Garden section for more information). Currently H-Lot frequently floods from water flowing in from upper campus. This water is then contaminated by toxic chemicals, which leak from the cars parked there. The water run-off proceeds to pollute the watershed and eventually the Charles. 

We have chosen to build a rain garden behind Shapiro and next to H-Lot in order to prevent flooding and contamination. The rain garden will act as a sponge and filter and ensure that water does not pool in H-Lot. Over time, this will lessen Brandeis' impact on our watershed and the Charles. 

garden area filled with water

What is a Rain Garden?: A rain garden is an area planted, typically in a depression, with native species fit to absorb extreme moisture and high nutrient concentrations, associated with storm water. By absorbing storm water, these gardens reduce erosion and improve water quality. For more information, visit the Low Impact Development Center

digging rain garden

We have designed our rain garden with the idea that it will be self-sustaining. Leaves may accumulate in the drainage canal over time and may need to be periodically cleaned out so it will continue to divert runoff. However, by planting native plants best suited for the climate and specific characteristics of the site, the garden itself will be able to grow and sustain itself without irrigation, added fertilizers or landscaping management.

digging rain garden

Importance of Water Conservation: With less than 1% of the Earth's fresh water accessible to the vast majority of species, it is integral that this resource be managed, and utilized in a manner that is sustainable for all future generations. While nearly one billion people are without access to clean water, human actions are responsible for the majority of the planet's water waste. We are essentially removing clean water from a self-regulating system, and degrading it so intensely that it cannot cycle back cleanly. This is seen in the water run-off from agriculture, large scale industry, and even the simple examples of showering or watering the lawn. The run-off of such excess nutrients, and chemicals disrupts the balance of all ecosystems and their inhabitants. 

rain garden area

Water is not a renewable resource, yet it remains one of the most highly demanded. Therefore its conservation is vital to a sustainable future. 

Team Members: Josh Berman, Katie Douglas, Ellie Driscoll, Emma Kraft, Talia Niederman, Brendan Schneider, and Cassidy Tatun