Page 9 - June 9, 2021
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{ 8 }  SNJ Today  |  JUNE 9, 2021                                                                                     JUNE 9, 2021  |   { 9 }

 Local school participates in program to build
 green infrastructure project—two rain gardens.

 American Littoral Society

                                                                                  In the fall of 2020, planting was done   vent flooding, improve water quality, and
 before it reaches our waterways.                                              with the help of the school’s Green Team,   increase wildlife habitat,” says the American
 Egorov and Principal Carmella Heer                                            Rutgers, the American Littoral Society,   Littoral Society’s Lucia Ruggiero. “The
 helped move the project along by work-                                        and the Association of NJ Environmental   South Jersey Landscape Makeover Program
 ing with the school facilities staff and the                                  Commissions. And, this spring the fourth   makes it easier for people to install these
 program. The onset of COVID in 2020                                           grade students finally returned to help with   projects, even at the homeowner level.”
 interfered with their plans to complete the                                   spring clean-up of the garden.         Homeowners who participate in the
 project.                                                                        “Students help with weeding and feel   South Jersey Landscape Makeover Program
 “The process was more complicated                                             ownership and a sense of pride when other   can receive a free rain garden design and
 because of COVID, and we had to make                                          teachers come out and use the garden as   up to a $450 rebate for materials. To date,
 lots of adjustments. I was a little nervous                                   a tool to teach their students about water   approximately $8,000 has been provided in
 because it was a lot of work to do without                                    quality,” added Egorov. “Children are the   rebates. The program has helped prevent
 the help of student volunteers, but we did                                    next caretakers of our planet. Encouraging   30 million gallons of polluted stormwater
 it,” said Egorov. “I like to lead by example,                                 them to make greener and healthier   from entering waterways that drain into the
 and you have to know what your end goal                                       choices for themselves and the planet is   Delaware River. All that work is paying off,
 is.”                                                                          important.”                         as Egorov gets ready to use the garden to
 As a result of the school closures due to                                       She also encouraged other schools   teach spring pollinator lessons.
 COVID, the students were no longer able                                       and municipalities to do what they can to   For more information about the South
 to help install the rain gardens. To keep                                     help the environment and keep pollution   Jersey Landscape Makeover Program visit
 them engaged, Egorov worked with one                                          out of our waterways. The South Jersey   the website at
 of the program partners, the American                                         Landscape Makeover Program provides   over/. n
 Littoral Society, to conduct virtual presen-                                  technical assistance, designing, and funding
 tations with the students to teach them                                       to help make green infrastructure projects   American Littoral Society’s Lucia
 about the rain gardens.                                                       easier for landowners to install.   Ruggiero, Michelle Peal and Kristen Zilcosky
                                                                                 “Rain gardens can do a lot to help pre-  contributed to this article.
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