Visitors Center Rain Garden

visitor center building

OVERVIEW

This project will design and construct a demonstration rain garden at the Visitors Center at Round Hill Park to capture and treat rainwater from the building’s roof and paving and to serve as an educational opportunity for park visitors to learn about stormwater management. The use of “green infrastructure” to manage stormwater runoff was a significant recommendation made in the Ecological Assessment and Action Plan for Round Hill Park. Rain gardens are a tool in the green infrastructure toolbox.

New piping will be installed to direct rainwater from the roof of the building, totaling approximately 1,200 square feet, to a rain garden on the northwest side of the building. The project will be designed to manage a minimum of the first inch of rainfall from storms totaling approximately 800 gallons. Allegheny County receives on average 39 inches of rain annually, so the rain garden could capture and treat up to 31,200 gallons of rain, depending on the severity of the storm and the amount of rainfall. The rain garden project will include erosion control, excavation, piping, engineered soils with an underdrain, natural large sandstone, river rock, native species plantings and leaf mulch.

Rain gardens help to mitigate runoff from impervious surfaces in many ways. They provide an opportunity for rainwater to infiltrate into soil instead of flowing straight into streams which can help reduce downstream flooding. They allow pollutants to settle out of runoff, and plants help to filter out chemicals which keeps streams clean and clear. Interpretive signage will also be installed at the Visitors Center to educate park users on the environmental merits of treating stormwater runoff.

CURRENT WORK

This project is currently in the design phase. Work is expected to be completed in 2024.

PARTNERS

Allegheny County

FUNDING

The Allegheny County Parks Foundation raised the funds for this project. Funding was provided by:

  • Allegheny County
  • EQT Foundation