Cotuit Town Dock Rain Garden An Early Success

rain-gardenCOTUIT – There’s some good news about the two 50 foot long by 3 feet wide bioretention beds the Three Bays Preservation built at the Cotuit Town Dock last spring.

For the most part, the “rain garden” plants made it through the hot, dry summer.

Although the lack of rain limited the Preservation’s ability to monitor how the beds were functioning, they are now in the process of water sampling and testing.

The bioretention beds are part of a green infrastructure pilot program developed by the Preservation and the Barnstable Department of Public Works.

This is one of the Preservation’s first projects to leave the starting gate and is designed as an alternative to conventional storm drainage sewering.

Last May, four Cape Cod Academy students helped build and plant the beds, along with Executive Director Lindsey Counsell.

After filling the beds with gravel, soil and peat moss, eight species of indigenous, salt-tolerant plants were planted and a subsurface drip irrigation system was installed.

The hope is that the gardens will remove significant amounts of nitrogen, pathogens, oils and other pollutants before reaching the waters of Cotuit Bay.

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