Astoria Middle School Rain Garden
Client: Port of Astoria
Location: Astoria, Oregon
MFA assisted the Port of Astoria with the design and construction of a new rain garden for Astoria Middle School through a Supplemental Environmental Project, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tool that allows organizations to direct a portion of a penalty fine toward funding a project that benefits the local community’s public health and environment.
Working closely with the port, MFA identified Astoria Middle School as an ideal location for a new rain garden, as the project would address an existing drainage condition and provide a new and unique feature for the school.
Following site selection project approval by the EPA, MFA completed the project design, assisted with city grading permitting, and provided technical assistance during construction. The MFA project team, through a collaboration between MFA’s landscape architect and engineers and Clatsop County master gardeners, incorporated native or adaptive plant species that can withstand the local climate and soil conditions with minimum maintenance.
The rain garden, constructed in the fall of 2017, has improved drainage conditions at the school site and also helps to purify the rainwater runoff before it reaches local waterways.
This highly visible project provides opportunities for students and the community to understand the environmental benefits of low-impact development solutions to stormwater runoff and helps connect the port with the community that it serves.
MFA is currently working on the project’s final phase, which includes design and fabrication of an interpretive graphic design specific to the rain garden. This sign will be placed at the site to inform students of the benefits of the rain garden and introduce them to the native plants that were selected for the project.
Cem Gokcora, PE