Shaler Area High School soon will have a rain garden installed on its property thanks to a $6,793 grant awarded to Girty’s Run Watershed Association from the Allegheny County Conservation District’s Conservation, Leadership and Innovation Program.
Shaler Area High School partnered with Girty’s Run Watershed Association to develop a conceptual stormwater management plan for an area of the high school campus surrounding its greenhouse. Under the guidance of Girty’s Run Watershed Association, a high school team of students — including Alyssa Juzwick, Jamie Eichmiller, Caitlin Fedorek, Dakota Carr, Olivia Jarzynka, Anna Sheets, and Rebecca Schiavone— developed a design to incorporate green stormwater infrastructure that would reduce the amount of surface runoff.
Girty’s Run Watershed Association applied for a grant through the Allegheny County Conservation District’s Conservation, Leadership and Innovation Program to bring part of that plan to fruition.
The grant will fund the creation of a rain garden, landscaped with native vegetation, which will divert rain water from the sewer system to the garden to be absorbed back into the soil. The rain garden is designed to capture an estimated 1,355 gallons of stormwater in a one-inch rainfall.
The rain garden also will provide an educational opportunity for high school students because the grant provides for the installation of monitoring sensors for rainfall and water absorption with software provided by DECO Resources. These features will be powered by a solar panel, and an integrated phone app will monitor those sensor levels in real time.