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This past June, Friends of the Newport Waterfront (FOW), Friends of King Park, and the City of Newport joined forces to install a URI Master Gardeners demonstration rain garden in Newport’s King Park.

A rain garden is a shallow, landscaped depression planted with native plants that collects and filters storm water runoff. When it rains, water picks up pollutants from everyday activities. Rain gardens are designed to hold this runoff, allowing it to infiltrate into the ground. This removes pollutants and reduces flooding. Building rain gardens is a simple but important step in protecting our local waterways - in this case, Narragansett Bay.

King Park Rain Garden
King Park Rain Garden, Newport RI

“Our new rain garden can absorb 25,000 gallons of water a year,” said Johanna Vietry, URI Master Gardener Project Leader. If forty King Park neighbors planted a rain garden similar to the one in the park, together they could treat one million gallons of rainwater each year.

The Newport community has shown great enthusiasm for this innovative garden. For homeowners concerned about water quality, a rain garden is an inexpensive way to make their property more earth friendly. The Friends of King Park hold regular meetings with neighborhood residents to discuss how they can install rain gardens in their own backyard.

The Green Infrastructure Coalition is a project of the Environment Council of Rhode Island. We are made up of over forty organizations from around the state that work on projects to create nature based solutions for stormwater issues facing Rhode Island. Our projects and programs are geared towards educating the community on what is being done to address polluted runoff and flooding across the state. Our goal is to advocate for and help create new projects by using natural green infrastructure in Rhode Island.
Sara Churgin is the District Manager for the Eastern Rhode Island Conservation District. ERICD is a member of the Rhode Island Green Infrastructure Coalition.
RI-GIC Website