On June 2, 2018, the Eastern RI Conservation District (ERICD) partnered with the New England Water Environment Association and The Common Fence Point Association to create a rain garden at the Common Fence Point Community Hall in Portsmouth. The rain garden was constructed in one day with help from over 40 people. The project will collect runoff from the roof, decreasing flooding and polluted runoff from this site.

The New England Water Environment Association (NEWEA) Young Professionals Committee and Common Fence Point community members built this 750 square foot rain garden as part of ongoing improvements to the neighborhood's community center.

All labor was donated by volunteers from the New England Water Environment Association, ERICD, the Aquidneck Land Trust (ALT) staff and the Common Fence Point community. It was a tremendous joint effort, brought together in only a matter of weeks.

Rain garden details:

The rain garden is designed to capture and treat 50% of the community center's roof (4720 square feet) stormwater runoff that would otherwise fall onto the ground untreated and make its way to the nearby Mount Hope Bay. All of the plants are native to Rhode Island and help restore the natural beauty of the Common Fence Point community.

Where: 933 Anthony Road, Portsmouth, RI Common Fence Point Community Hall.

Who uses the facility: Organized in 1962, Common Fence Point Improvement Association is a non-profit community organization which looks after beaches, causeways and public spaces in the Common Fence Point neighborhood. Their Community Hall holds a special role as the community gathering spot, with programs such as dance, fitness and cooking classes, and music performances through Common Fence Music. Today, their Community Hall renovations are almost complete, and the rain garden will be the cornerstone of the new property, modeling green infrastructure for the neighborhood and all who visit!

This rain garden at Common Fence Point Community Center was funded by the Aquidneck Island GIC. Funding was for materials only. The Aquidneck Island GIC (AI GIC) has received funding from the Van Beuren Charitable Foundation for a Stormwater Runoff Mitigation Program, part of which was applied to the design and planting of this rain garden.
What happened on June 2, 2018:
  • Volunteers enjoyed a day of gardening with some of the best water quality professionals in New England!
  • They leveled bioretention soil & laid underdrain
  • They planted small trees, shrubs and plants
  • They applied mulch to the completed garden
  • They left with a terrific feeling from leaving a sustainable legacy for the community
Saturday October 13, 2018
10:30 - 12:30

Workshop and Tour of the
Common Fence Point Rain Garden

Common Fence Point Community Center
933 Anthony Road - Portsmouth

Join the RI Green Infrastructure Coalition for a morning workshop to review how this terrific project was conceived and took shape. Join the engineers, designers and community members for an informative session on building community rain gardens.

Nature At Work is a newsletter designed and distributed by the Rhode Island Green Infrastructure Coalition to bring more green space news to our cities and encourage the use of nature to clean, protect, and cool our neighborhoods. Because of climate change, we are seeing increased heat impacts in our city, especially where there are fewer trees, as well as issues with flooding and polluted runoff in our neighborhoods.

The Green Infrastructure Coalition is a collaborative of more than 40 non-profit organizations, businesses, and government agencies focused on using nature to reduce stormwater pollution. We develop projects to demonstrate the powerful role nature can play to create healthier urban environments. We promote policies to create sustainable funding for stormwater management and green infrastructure solutions. And we connect a wide range of partners to share lessons learned in the Providence Metro area and Aquidneck Island.

RI-GIC Website