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Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County Tree Filter


image of a stormdrain in the foreground with rainwater flowing from a tree filter in the background toward the drain

This project was a retrofit of an existing catch basin; they removed a small area of asphalt around the grate and re-shaped it to direct runoff from the adjacent driveway/parking lot to a small lawn area. The lawn area was excavated, an underdrain installed along with a drainage layer and select soil, and the surface was shaped to form a shallow ponding area. A River Birch was planted in the middle of the ponding area. Once the ponding area fills, additional runoff spills back into the pre-existing catch basin.

Site Location

  • Site Name: Orange County Office Building
  • Address: 18 Seward Avenue, Middletown, NY 10940
  • Owner: County of Orange
  • County: Orange
  • Watershed: Monhagen Brook/Wallkill River
  • Land use of site: Municipal
  • Can this site be visited: Yes
  • Location on site: Along the front of the building next to the porch, to the left of the main building entrance as you are walking in

Practice Details

  • Intent of design: This is an ideal location for GI demonstration projects because of the public traffic visiting the building and the stormwater training series hosted here by Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County. In addition, the receiving waters (Monhagen Brook) are impaired primarily by urban pollutants, so green infrastructure practices help address those impairments.
  • Size of structure/capacity: 250 square feet surface area/123 cubic feet ponding/storage volume
  • Size of drainage area: 5,000 square feet
  • Plants or materials used: River Birch (Betula nigra)
  • Maintenance: Weed, water, check catch basin/remove silt/debris as needed
  • Maintained by: Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County/Master Gardeners
  • More than one practice at this site? Yes, Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County Stormwater Planter and Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County Rain Garden

Design/Installation Information

  • Design: Orange County Soil and Water Conservation District, with review by Lehman and Getz, P.C.
  • Installation: Vellenga Lawn Care, with construction supervision by Orange County Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Other project partners: Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orange County/Master Gardeners Program - maintenance; County of Orange - review/approve project plans
  • Date of Installation: August 2013
  • Zoning change or special permit required? No
  • Project cost: Approximately $5,000
  • Form of Payment: Grant funds (from the NYS DEC Hudson River Estuary Program, in partnership with New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission), with additional support from Orange County Soil and Water Conservation District, Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County, Lehman and Getz, P.C.

For Additional Site Information:

Contact: Kevin Sumner, Conservation District Manager, Orange County Soil and Water Conservation District


Phone: (845) 343-1873