Franconia Township was successful in securing a grant through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program. The funding for this program was made possible under Act 13, which authorized the Commonwealth Financing Authority to award grants to eligible applicants for planning, acquisition, development, rehabilitation, and repair of greenways, recreational trails, open space, parks and beautification projects. Franconia Township submitted an application to receive funding for the creation of a rain garden located within the community park.
The rain garden project will include the conversion of an existing grass swale to a bio-retention swale by planting wet tolerant trees along the perimeter of the new swale surface. The rain garden will be created off-line of the current swale corridor with a diversion inlet box placed upon the existing collecting storm pipe. The gardens will be graded to provide a flat surface area of approximately 6,000 square feet in two levels and consist of 12” deep certified soil mix into which riparian seed mix will be broadcasted along with plugs of specified wet tolerant plants with the two terraces bordered by shrubs.
The community park was selected because it is the ideal location for a project of this nature. It is the most heavily used park and is located within the impaired Indian Creek Watershed. The installation of a rain garden in this location gives the Township the opportunity to provide signage and information to patrons about rain gardens, how they operate and what benefits they provide while also serving as a model for future projects. The location of the garden will also allow for constant monitoring and reporting on pollutant reduction. The rain garden will enhance the park by providing new plantings and vegetation. It will be a peaceful and aesthetic improvement to the park. In addition, it will serve a greater purpose in that it will help manage stormwater runoff and reduce pollutants.