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Ulster County Department of the Environment Rain Garden


image of Ulster County Rain Garden in summer with flowering plants, building in far background

This rain garden was installed as a public demonstration project. The Ulster County Department of the Environment office is located in a former historic home in the City of Kingston, and the rain garden illustrates what homeowners in an urbanized area can do to capture and treat stormwater runoff. It also enhances the landscape and provides a beautiful habitat for beneficial wildlife. This garden has worked well to date, even capturing runoff from the large storms.

For more information, download the Ulster County Department of the Environment Rain Garden Brochure (PDF 370 KB).

Site Location

  • Site Name: Ulster County Department of the Environment Office
  • Address: 17 Pearl Street, Kingston, NY
  • Owner: Ulster County
  • County: Ulster
  • Watershed: Esopus Creek
  • Land use of site: Municipal office
  • Can this site be visited? Yes
  • Location on site: West side of building
rain garden in process of being built. pit in foreground filled with stone, construction vehicles and caution tape also in view

Practice Details

  • Intent of design: Capture and allow stormwater runoff from the roof to infiltrate into the ground
  • Size of structure/capacity: 300 square feet
  • Size of drainage area: 1,000 square feet
  • Plants or materials used: Blue milkweed, Swamp milkweed, New England aster, White wild indigo, Pink turtlehead, Tickseed, Purple coneflower, Joe-pye weed, Helen's flower, Blue flag iris, Gayfeather, Cardinal flower, Eastern beebalm, Mountain mint, Sweet coneflower, Dwarf ironweed, New Jersey tea, Summersweet, Prairie dropseed
  • Maintenance: Seasonal weeding, remulching and plant replacements as needed
  • Maintained by: Ulster County Department of Public Works and Ulster County Department of the Environment Staff
  • More than one practice at this site? Yes, Ulster County Office Building Complex Bioretention, Permeable Pavers, and Street Trees

Design/Installation Information

  • Design: Barbara Restaino, Landscape Architect, Restaino Designs
  • Installation: Ulster County DPW and Department of Environment staff and volunteers
  • Date of installation: August 2011
  • Zoning change or special permit required: No
  • Project cost: Plant materials donated (worth approximately $1,000) and County labor
  • Form of payment: Plant materials donated by Friends of Forsyth Park (ALCOA grant) and Cornell Cooperative Extension

For Additional Site Information:

Contact: Mandy Wolfson, Environmental Resource Technician, Ulster County Department of the Environment
Email: awol@co.ulster.ny.us
Phone: (845) 338-7287