Plans for a rain garden in Dickson City are taking shape, thanks to Pennsylvania American Water.
The Dickson City Borough was awarded a $7,000 grant for the construction of a rain garden at the future Dickson City Riverfront Park, located near Enterprise Street. The grant was awarded as part of the utility company’s environmental grant program. The borough’s grant was 12 grants awarded out of 50 applicants.
A rain garden is a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection-approved stormwater best management practice, which is used to treat the quality and quantity of stormwater including the cooling of the water and filtering out of pollutants. This helps with water conservation.
“The grant program is designed to support projects that protect the quality of the area,” said Susan Turcmanovich, external affairs manager at Pennsylvania American Water. “This project meets all the criteria.”
Jayson Wood, registered landscape architect of Woodland Design Associates Inc., has been hired by the borough to help design the park and provide construction administration and management support.
According to Wood, water will gather on the proposed parking lot and run into the rain garden, which is an approximately 40 ft. by 20 ft. depressed pooling area with specified vegetation, soil, and, potentially, aggregate and perforated pipes to hold the water while it naturally infiltrates into the soil. While it does, the water will be naturally filtered by the plants and soil, then cool and flow into the groundwater table and into Price Creek and the Lackawanna River, where it will be the proper temperature and pH level. This process will continue to strengthen the river, which is a Class A trout stream.
“From the location of the rain garden, when the site is cleaned up, you’ll be able to see the parking lot, rain garden and see out to the river,” said Wood.
The borough plans for Boy Scouts to help construct the rain garden. Once the garden is complete, there will be an interpretive sign which will educate the community
“[The sign] will showcase what we hope the Boy Scouts will learn and internalize,” said Wood. “It will show how water is treated, what the water is composed of and will include a blurb about the river.”
Once the project is complete next year, the borough will provide Pennsylvania American Water with a final report to showcase how the plans unfolded.
“It’s great to see how these projects come together at the end,” said Turcmanovich.
Aside from the rain garden, the Dickson City Riverfront Park will also include a dog park with two sections, one for large dogs and one for small dogs, a playground, picnic area, walking trail and an area for fishing and launching kayaks.
The borough has secured approximately $360,000 in funding to develop the park, including
a $114,000 Park Rehabilitation and Development grant from the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources that will help with the creation of the parking lot, dog park, part of the trail and park cleanup, according to Wood.
The borough also received a $247,000 grant through the state Department of Community and Economic Development’s Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program, which will help with fully realizing the loop trail, paving the parking lot and providing American with Disabilities Act compliant-spaces and the creation of a restroom, picnic areas and the kayak launch. Additionally, the DCNR awarded the borough a $77,500 grant to help purchase the land.
If all goes to plan, construction will wrap up next summer.
“I’m impressed with the way the borough has approached this,” said Wood. “It’s the place to be now. Dickson City has extreme momentum. We’re trying to tie it all together, get people out of their cars and get out there and benefit downtown. Everyone downtown deserves it.”