Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Ulster County Office Building Complex Bioretention, Permeable Pavers, and Street Trees


This project was a retrofit that turned a section of asphalt pavement, hedges, and a narrow strip of grass with a few annual plants into an attractive and functional bioretention garden with perennial native plants, trees, and permeable pavers. The bioretention area captures stormwater runoff from the parking area, allowing water to infiltrate into the ground and nourish the plants. It has also reduced localized flooding in the parking lot and Pearl Street.

Along with the rain garden installed previously at the Ulster County Department of the Environment, this project serves as a demonstration of how green infrastructure can be incorporated into existing sites to reduce stormwater runoff, increase beneficial wildlife habitat, and enhance the landscape.

parking lot in Ulster County with rainwater pooling on the pavement
The same parking lot after the bioretention work, featuring a beautiful border garden.

Site Location

  • Site Name: Ulster County Office Building Complex
  • Address: 244 Fair Street, Kingston, NY
  • Owner: Ulster County
  • County: Ulster
  • Watershed: Esopus Creek
  • Land use of site: Office parking lot
  • Can this site be visited? Yes
  • Location on site: Parking lot between 1 and 17 Pearl Street

Practice Details

  • Intent of design: To capture stormwater flow from parking lot and allow it to infiltrate into the ground while adding aesthetic and biologically diverse areas
  • Size of structure/capacity: ~1,500 square feet
  • Size of drainage ares: ~3,600 square feet
  • Plants or materials used: Unilock Eco-Priora pavers, bioretention soil. Plant List: Anise Hyssop, Thread Leaf Bluestar, Blue Ice Amsonia, Butterfly Weed, Blue Wood Aster, New York Aster, American Redbud, Northern Sea Oats, Ruby Spice Summersweet, American Lowbush Honeysuckle, Sunburst St. Johnswort, Shamrock Inkberry, Sweetbay Magnolia, Scarlet Beebalm, Black Tupelo, Huskers Red Penstemon, Miss Manners Obedient Plant, Swamp White Oak, Gro-low Aromatic Sumac, Black-eyed Susan, Prairie Blues Little Bluestem
  • Maintenance: Weeding, watering, and mulching of garden area as needed, vacuuming of pavers
  • Maintained by: Ulster County Department of Public Works and Department of the Environment staff
  • More than one practice at this site? Yes, Ulster County Department of the Environment Rain Garden

Design/Installation Information

  • Design: Barbara Restaino, Restaino Designs Landscape Architect
  • Installation: Ulster County Department of Public Works staff
  • Date of installation: June 2014
  • Zoning change or special permit required: No
  • Project cost: $16,000 for plants and construction materials, $6,000 for professional services, balance in-kind labor
  • Form of payment: $31,260 grant from the NYS DEC Hudson River Estuary Program, in partnership with New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission, balance in-kind labor Ulster County

For Additional Site Information:

Contact: Mandy Wolfson, Ulster County Department of the Environment


Phone: (845) 338-7287