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Master Watershed Steward Program Receives $10,000 Healing the Planet Grant

by Penn State Extension

Jun 28, 2022

This grant funding is supported by The Giant Corporation and will provide for the installation of 30 demonstration downspout planters across the state, 2 stormwater basin naturalization projects and 1 live stake nursery installation. The Master Watershed Steward program of Berks and Schuylkill counties was included in this grant and was able to install four demonstration downspout planters in Berks County.

Downspout planters are decorative landscaped planters specially designed to absorb and filter stormwater before it enters stormwater management or sewer systems. Downspout planters are filled with a base layer of gravel to allow for drainage, a stormwater-friendly soil mix, and native perennial vegetation that comes back every spring. During storm events, water from the roof flows into the planter and is captured. If the volume of water is greater than the capacity of the planter, it exits the planter through an overflow outlet or can be diverted back into the original downspout. The native plants in the planters provide pollinator habitat and beautification for homeowners.

During the month of June, four of these demonstration downspout planters were installed by Master Watershed Steward volunteers from Berks and Schuylkill counties. Two planters were installed at Bethel Elementary School, one at Penn-Bernville Elementary School, and the fourth planter was installed on June 20th at Pendora Park in Reading, PA. Now that the downspout planters have been installed, the local program will work with educators at the elementary schools to develop educational materials to teach the importance of stormwater management and the benefits of these unique planters.

For more information about this event or the Master Watershed Steward Program, please contact program coordinator Natalie Marioni by telephone at 610-378-1327 or by email at [email protected].

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