Holding up in the Rain: Success on Jordan Creek

In June 2016, a rain garden was constructed at the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida’s property at the Edward K. Thomas building located in the Airport Shopping Center. The rain garden has proven successful in handling its first Juneau rainy season.

The purpose of the rain garden is to capture and infiltrate the pollutant-laden stormwater that flows across the parking lot before it enters Jordan Creek. Stormwater is a concern for Jordan Creek because it is listed as an Impaired Water Body by the State of Alaska for non-attainment of sediment, dissolved oxygen, and residue (debris) standards, and urban stormwater run-off is identified as the major source of pollution.

The rain garden was designed to handle 1.51 inches of rain over a 24-hour period. However, the rock swale that provides a stabilized flow path and inlet into the rain garden has been effective in infiltrating most rainfall events before the water even makes its way into the rain garden (Photo 1 and 2).

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Photo 1. Rock swale during a rain event on 11/29/2016. Rainfall totaled 1.42 inches that day.

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Photo 2. The rain garden during a rain event on 11/29/2016. Rainfall totaled 1.42 inches that day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Larger storms do make their way into the rain garden. A large storm in September 2016 topped the rain garden and stormwater had to discharge through the overflow outlet rather than infiltrate into the ground as intended (Photos 3 and 4). However, this storm was over an inch greater than the design storm.

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Photo 3. The rock swale during a rain event on 9/9/2016. Rainfall totaled 2.69 inches that day.

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Photo 4. The rain garden during a rain event on 9/9/2016. Rainfall totaled 2.69 inches that day.

The rain garden was funded by the Alaska Clean Water Actions (ACWA) Grant Program administered by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Wells Fargo Environmental Solutions for Communities Grant.

If you would like more information about the rain garden project, please see our project website at http://www.juneauwatersheds.org/programs/stormwater/raingarden.html or contact JWP via email at juneauwatersheds@gmail.com.

SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR PARTNERS, WITHOUT WHO THIS PROJECT WOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE:

Central Council of Tlingit and Haida, for their overall project support

SOURCE, LLC, for donating staff and equipment time in construction

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for project funding support

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, for continued project advice and guidance

Trout Unlimited and Wells Fargo, for recruiting volunteers for installation of the fence and planting

All volunteers who participated

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