Program Offers Rebates for Rain Gardens

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A free educational webinar about the fundamentals of rain garden setup is going to be introduced Wednesday, March 3, at noon and 7 p.m. It will be hosted with the Lake Hopatcong Commission (LHC), in partnership with all the Lake Hopatcong Foundation (LHF) and the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program.

Along together with the training, participants will get a chance to schedule a free 30-minute digital consultation, in which they may work one-on-one using a Rutgers landscape architect to organize a customized rain garden for their own property.

Sixteen participants from Jefferson, Hopatcong, Mount Arlington, or Roxbury, that live inside the Lake Hopatcong landmark, will be eligible to get a rebate up to $450, following installation of a rain garden and review from the Rutgers team.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for residents within the Lake Hopatcong watershed to not only learn about the benefits of rain gardens, but also to get assistance in the planning and expense of adding a rain garden to their yards,” stated LHC Administrator Colleen Lyons.

A rain garden is a selection of native trees, perennials, and flowers planted in a little depression, designed to temporarily maintain and soak in rainwater runoff from impermeable surfaces such as roofs, driveways, and patios, efficiently controlling contamination and mitigating flooding.

“Rain gardens are a great step for homeowners who want to be able to do something positive for Lake Hopatcong’s water quality,” stated LHF Grants and Program Director Donna Macalle-Holly. “The goal of this program is to install at least 16 gardens within the Lake Hopatcong watershed by the end of this year.”

Pete and Sara Buonomo, of Landing, participate at the program last spring, installing a rain garden in a flood-prone region of their house and getting the lien upon completion.

“When we first moved into our home and the warm weather came around, it was very clear we had a drainage issue,” clarified Sara Buonomo. “Neither my husband nor I understood what a rain garden was, but after attending the hour-long convention it was apparent we had the reply to our troubles.

“We scheduled the follow up, proceeded with the plans created, and a few weeks later, voila, a scary, uneven, flood-prone backyard was turned into a beautiful rain garden oasis. All in all, it was a wonderful experience, which was beneficial to us, our neighbors and, most importantly, the environment.”

Funding for the project was supplied through a Harmful Algal Bloom Grant in the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection given to the LHC in partnership with all the LHF, together with other project partners, to evaluate innovative technologies to restrain, prevent, or mitigate harmful algal blooms on Lake Hopatcong.

For more info or to register for the training, visit lakehopatcongcommission.org.

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The Lake Hopatcong Commission is an independent state agency created in, but not of, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The Commission is accountable for fulfilling the duties of this Lake Hopatcong Protection Act, to protect Lake Hopatcong as a natural, scenic, and recreational resource. To learn more, visit lakehopatcongcommission.org.

The Lake Hopatcong Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to protecting the lake environment and boosting the river expertise by bringing together public and private funds to promote a new culture of sustainability and stewardship on and about New Jersey’s biggest lake, to get this and future generations. To learn more, visit lakehopatcongfoundation.org.

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