Raingarden at Purcell Park

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Current Size: 80%

  • Project Date: Fall 2007 - Spring 2008
  • Partners: City of Harrisonburg, The Natural Garden, Virginia Department of Forestry
  • Funding: ~$1600 from the Virginia Department of Forestry and in-kind contributions from the City of Harrisonburg and volunteers.
  • Volunteers: Massanutten Regional Governors School interns, Blacks Run Clean Up Day volunteers, Tri Delta Sorority from JMU

A raingarden was created to infiltrate the runoff from an 8000 square foot parking lot in Purcell Park.  Design was completed following guidelines from a Virginia Department of Forestry technical guide, and with assistance from the Department of Forestry.  The vegetation and layout was a collaborative effort between the Stream Health Coordinator, and Karl Shank from The Natural Garden.  This raingarden benefits Blacks Run by infiltrating, and treating the water from the parking lot, which otherwise would have entered a storm drain untreated. The following activities took place:

  • A large section of grass was removed, and soils amended with organic matter and sand to a depth of approximately two feet. 
  • A variety of native plants were chosen for their aesthetic beauty, wildlife value, and ability to grow in the wet and dry conditions of a raingarden.

Purcell 2007



Purcell Raingarden Fall 2007

Fall 2007


Purcell Raingarden Fall 2007

Fall 2007


Purcell 2008

Summer 2008


Some of the plant species we planted include:


  • Acer rubrum (Red Maple)
  • Magnolia virginiana (Magnolia)


  • Myrica pennsylvanica (Northern Bayberry)


  • Aeslepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed)
  • Eupatorium maculatum (Joe Pye Weed)
  • Eupatorium fistulosum
  • Heliopsis helianthoides (Early Sunflower)
  • Hibiscus coccineus (Scarlet Hibiscus)
  • Liatris spicata (Marsh Blazing Star)
  • Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower)
  • Lobelia siphillitica (Great Blue Lobelia)
  • Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot)
  • Panicum virgatum (Switchgrass)
  • Sanguisorbia Canadensis

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