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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Freehold, New Jersey, USA

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Freehold, New Jersey, USA
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Registered: October 2008
City/Town/Province: Freehold
Posts: 1
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For my Nicodemus Wilderness Project, I selected Option II, which was to plant native trees. I had recently just finished my Eagle Scout project which was creating a rain garden at a historical sight in my hometown of Freehold, NJ. The site is the Oakley House and the rain garden is in front of the Oakley barn, an 86 foot long barn, which has a steep decline going towards the street. Further more, the barn has no gutters, thus all the rain water seeps straight into the sewer system, causing flooding and pollution problems. In the present condition of the rain garden area, the soil is of a sandy, loamy mix which is excellent for planting, and easy to dig through. The rain garden is 86 feet long, by 27 feet wide and 6 inches deep, with a 6-7 inch berm going around the perimeter. This rain garden is 22 inches away from the barn. I have laid out 7 tons of stone over the 22 inches so the rain water doesn’t just seep into the ground, and instead will roll over the rocks and into the rain garden. I have also designed and created two stone “Riverbed” designs that start on the outer edges and slice to the center. It is for purely aesthetic reason, and serves no real purpose. In the actual rain garden, my volunteers and me dug out 6 inches and bermed up the sides. Then, we planted over 250 perennials, including shrubs, trees and flowers. All plants were of course, native plants. I bought them from specialized nurseries and several were donated. After planting, we mulched the garden with 3 inches of mulch.
I was proud that I had created such an environmentally friendly project of this magnitude in 2 days, with the vigilant help of volunteers, friends and fellow Boy Scouts. This project will significantly help the environment because it will absorb the runoff water and help with the flooding problems. The rain garden reduces rain runoff by allowing stormwater to soak into the ground (as opposed to flowing into storm drains and surface waters which causes erosion, water pollution, flooding, and diminished groundwater). Research indicates that rain gardens can cut down on the amount of pollution reaching creeks and streams by up to 30%. Rain gardens are a cheap and effective way of helping out the environment. Not only do they have beneficial purposes, they also look very nice when they are completed. Beauty and effectiveness is a very good combination. It is important to take care of the rain garden, because otherwise, everything will die, and become useless. For example, last week, I went to check up on the garden and found that it was under attack by aphids. I went to the store, bought environmentally pesticides and eradicated the pests. I went back several days later and found that all the plants had grown bigger, now that the bugs were dead. If the plants or rain garden is damaged, then it will not be able to function properly and be a waste of space.
I feel that Apprentice Ecologist Initiative is an excellent way for the younger generation to learn about environmental issues and different, and interesting ways to combat it. In my opinion this is a very good program and should be encouraged in schools and other educational places.
· Date: October 7, 2008 · Views: 4288 · File size: 35.6kb, 495.2kb · : 1500 x 1125 ·
Hours Volunteered: 60
Volunteers: 20
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 13 to 17
Area Restored for Native Wildlife (hectares): 0.1
Native Trees Planted: 250
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