On September 27 the Organic Land Care Program hosted its third Advanced Workshop in 2012 about stormwater management at the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Attendees gathered in the Hanson Education building at the Beardsley Zoo. The workshop opened with a brief welcome from Jeanne Yuckienuz, Senior Keeper and Associate Curator of the Beardsley Zoo (and also an Accredited Organic Land Care Professional) and some background about the City of Bridgeport's green infrastructure projects from Steve Hladun of the City of Bridgeport Department of Parks and Recreation.
Donald Watson, an architect with Earth Rise Design LLC, and one of the developers of the Beardsley Zoo's next rainwater infiltration project, presented on a biofiltration project in Trumbull that modeled different biofiltration features and then outlined the Beardsley zoo project. There are six phases, but the 319 Grant provides funding for the first phase, shown below.
Heather Crawford, an Accreditation Course Instructor and former Extension Educator with the Connecticut Sea Grant provided an overview of water pollution, the Pequonnock River, low impact development and bioretention features. Heather explained that polluted runoff is the number one water quality problem in the United States, especially in dense residential and urban areas where the run off rates are 3 to 10 times greater. The Pequonnock Watershed (where the Beardsley Zoo is located) has been classified as a priority watershed as having an impact on Long Island Sound's water quality. Heather discussed Low Impact Development which combines pollution prevention with water filtration features to reduce the impact of development on a river's flow and water quality. Low Impact Development includes: rain gardens, bio-infiltration systems, grassed swales, green roofs and permeable pavement.
Rain gardens are the most effective way to deal with run off from roofs onsite for most residential properties. Heather outlined the basic design principles: