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Borough Applies for Sustainable Jersey Grant for Rain Garden

The Chatham Borough Council approved a resolution supporting the grant application through Sustainable Jersey

The Chatham Borough Council gave their support to a Sustainable Jersey grant application for a rain garden at Memorial Park.

The grant, which is funded by Wal-Mart, totals $10,000. If the borough wins the grant, the money will go toward the installation of a rain garden at Memorial Park.

Council Member Len Resto said that Cindy Steffens, the chair of the Green Intiatives Committee, has been working on the application as part of her efforts to gain Silver Certification in the Sustainable Jersey program this year.

"We think we have a very good chance [of winning the grant]," Resto said, "and we've gotten some good cooperation from Stanley Church and Town & Country [Garden Club]."

A rain garden is planted in a shallow or low-lying area, usually one that experiences a lot of stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces, such as a parking lot. The rain garden traps the stormwater and absorbs and stores it to nourish plants and trees.

According to the Street Edge Alternatives in Seattle, one two-year experiment with a rain garden on a residential street showed a 98 percent reduction in stormwater leaving the area.

Council Member Bruce Harris said, "One of the reasons we think we have a good chance with this grant is because the garden will be in a public place, so we have a good argument that this is public education. People will go to Memorial Park and be able to see what a rain garden is."

The borough won Bronze Certification in 2010 through environmentally-conscious initiatives such as the of all municipal buildings, the , the Recycling Depot, the , and the , the and the .

Sustainable Jersey gave comments back to Chatham in the Points Summary, where they wrote that the Chatham Borough Farmer's Market was "amazing" with "outstanding promotional materials," according to the points summary in 2010.

Silver Certification in 2011 requires 350 points, 125 more than the borough earned for Bronze Certification last year.

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