Siwanoy Stormwater Mitigation Garden Breaks Ground

Thanks to the innovation and efforts of the Outdoor Classroom and Sustainability Committees, a stormwater mitigation garden was planted last month by two 4th Grade classes at Siwanoy Elementary School.

The garden is designed to absorb excess stormwater using native plants like summersweet, witch-alder, sweet gale, red osier dogwood, pussy willow, groundseltree, and winterberry. These shrubs were sourced from Dropseed Native Landscapes in Long Island and Weaver Gardens in Larchmont. Site prep labor was donated by Siwanoy alumni 6th graders, as well as Mario Bulfamante & Sons Landscaping. Design and plant selection was provided by Pelham-based landscape ecologist Dominque Biondi. 

This kind of green infrastructure project captures rain where it lands to slow the flow of rainwater, which will reduce flooding and remove water pollution. Native plants require less maintenance because they have evolved to thrive in the environment they are from.

With flooding issues in the Pelham area being a great concern to this and surrounding communities, Siwanoy Elementary School’s PTA is proud to be addressing this issue in a meaningful, educational, and beautiful way.

“We are excited to involve our students in planting and learning hands-on so they may realize their agency to solve these environmental issues that affect their school and neighborhood,” says Outdoor Classroom lead Anna Simonsen-Meehan. “And there is hope that by spreading the word of this initiative, it may be replicated throughout our town as well as nearby communities.”

A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on April 20th celebrating Earth Day and officially revealing the innovative effort.