Rain Garden for the Grinnell Natural Area

Project Leads: Jaewon Saw

Sponsor: Environment, Health & Safety (EHS)

TGIF Mini-Grant: $1986.00

Project Theme: Habitat Restoration & Native Landscaping

Project Location

2016 Application Submission


Status: In Progress

Project Description: When water flows down impervious surfaces such as pavements and parking lots, various urban pollutants accumulate and wash into the water table. The Low Impact Development (LID) approach tackles this problem by adopting the site’s natural hydrology to control the stormwater at the source. As an LID design structure, a rain garden consists of trenches, berms, swales and curb openings that channel the rainwater into its basin. The captured water percolates, taken up by the plants of the garden which break down and remove the pollutants. Controlling the quality and volume of stormwater runoff conserves the local water resource and prevents the erosion of the surrounding infrastructure. Building a rain garden in the Grinnell Natural Area protects the Strawberry Creek – the central waterway of the campus.

Goals: 
- Inspire passersby to adopt sustainable landscaping and irrigation practices
- Encourage on-campus student activism and volunteering
- Improve the water quality of the Strawberry Creek
- Lower peak flows during a rain event to prevent the erosion of creek banks
- Restore the native flora and fauna (e.g. California Roach Minnow)

Mission Statement

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program coordinator.