YSU Students Renovate On-Campus Rain Garden

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A group of students from the Youngstown Environmental Sustainability Society has started renovation work on a rain garden at Youngstown State University.

The garden next door to Coffelt Hall was built several years ago to limit the amount of stormwater runoff into the city’s sewer system, which often includes fluids from cars such as oil, gasoline or brake fluid, as well as metals and sediment.

The bioswells in the garden should hold the runoff and allow it to drain slowly, allowing pollutants to settle and be taken in by plants. However, the bioswells were built too low, allowing stormwater to drain directly into the garden, causing erosion and preventing plants from thriving.

“The plan is to raise the drains to allow the storm water to slowly permeate into the ground, while the rocks in the garden protect the soil and plants from erosion and give the plant’s roots a secure place to grow without drying out,” said Curtis Burns, a YSU student and member of the Youngstown Environment Sustainability Society, in a release.

The renovation project is expected to take two semesters. It is a joint project between the society, the department of geology and environmental sciences and the department of civil and construction engineering technology. Professors Felicia Armstront, Colleen McLean and Robert Korenic will lead the project.

In addition to raising the drains, the student group will also clear out weeds and put in native plants, increase the size of exterior berms and add rocks to slow erosion and improve stormwater retention.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.