ShareThis Page
Highlands Middle School could host proposed rain garden |
Valley News Dispatch

Highlands Middle School could host proposed rain garden

Brian C. Rittmeyer
| Wednesday, January 9, 2019 12:33 p.m
Submitted | Harrison Township
An illustration shows the location of a proposed rain garden on the grounds at Highlands Middle School in Harrison. It would be built this year as part of a grant-funded project by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy that is also seeing trees planted in the township.
Brian C. Rittmeyer | Tribune-Review
A rain garden proposed to be built on the grounds of Highlands Middle School at Broadview Boulevard and California Avenue in Harrison would include seating, educational signage, a gravel path and native wetland plants.

Ground at Highlands Middle School has been selected as the site of a “green infrastructure” project in Harrison.

If permitted by the school district, the proposed rain garden would be built this year, said Jeff Bergman, director of community forestry with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

The garden is part of a $125,000 project funded by a grant from The Pittsburgh Foundation that is also seeing trees planted in the township. Volunteers planted 27 trees in November; Bergman said another 13 are planned to be planted in April.

The project’s design team is expected to do a brief presentation on the rain garden project to the Highlands School Board at its meeting on Monday. The board will meet at 7 p.m. in the library at Highlands High School.

A community meeting on the project will be held in April, Bergman said.

Because the site at the corner of Broadview Boulevard and California Avenue is on school district property, the district will have to give its approval, Bergman said.

Highlands spokeswoman Jennifer Goldberg said the district had no comment on the project.

Bergman said four locations in Harrison were considered.

“We think it’s a good site because it’s accessible, there could be some educational opportunities for the students, and it’s where they’ve had some issues with controlling water,” he said.

Bergman said the garden will control stormwater coming from the middle school and the site. It would be incorporated into the existing landscaping and include benches and a path. Plantings will be of species native to Pennsylvania, and Bergman said it will be “pretty low-maintenance.”

The garden will be able to capture about 1,500 cubic feet of stormwater, said Nina Chase, owner of Merritt Chase, a Pittsburgh landscape architecture firm and the project’s prime consultant.

“We are going to be incorporating signage to explain how a rain garden works,” she said. “We would also, if the budget allows, put labels on some of the plants and trees we’ll be installing so students can learn which plants are being used in the rain garden.”

The garden’s design will be finalized over the winter. Construction could take place in May and June, Bergman said.

“We’re having a really great experience working with the Harrison Township folks,” Bergman said. “Their enthusiasm is really contributing to the ongoing success of the project.”

Brian Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, or via Twitter @BCRittmeyer.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.