Rain gardens are shallow depressions that collect rainwater, which seeps down through layers in the ground. They can be landscaped with native plants, which beautifY the area and help to minimize maintenance and to maintain an environmental balance.
The purpose of a rain garden is to help ease stormwater problems, relieve flooding, and reduce runoff – including nutrients and pollutants – into surrounding rivers and streams. Subaru installed its first rain garden at corporate headquarters in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, in October 2011, and then added one at the Pennsauken, New Jersey, corporate headquarters campus in March 2012.
With a grant from Subaru of America Foundation, the Perkins Center for the Arts was able to install rain gardens at two New Jersey schools: Zane North Elementary School and Saint Anthony of Padua. An initiative near and dear to Subaru, the support from Subaru of America Foundation was a natural partnership.
As a collaborative effort, the schools’ students, parents, staff, and volunteers made the rain gardens possible. A professional artist from the ARTS (Arts Reaching the Students) Residency Program of the Perkins Center worked with each school and the students to build their gardens and create surrounding artwork. That artwork included benches and stones covered by decorative tiles and pieces hand made by the students.