Franklin Resident Helps Build Somerville Rain Garden


Fran Varacalli, left, was part of a Leadership Somerset team that built a rain garden for Somerville.
Photo: Leadership Somerset.


A township resident was among 12 members of Leadership Somerset who created a rain garden at Exchange Field in Somerville.

Fran Varacalli, who is also the township’s land preservation and management consultant, helped build the garden, which is designed to “intercept, treat and infiltrate rain water at the source, before it become runoff,” according to Leadership Somerset documents.

The gardens are planted in depressions in the ground and filled with plants that will help slow down and clean rainwater before it enters streets and becomes runoff.

The garden was worked on during the week of Oct. 13, with planting taking place on Oct. 17.

A ribbon-cuting ceremony for the garden was held on Nov. 17. Attending were representatives from Somerville, Somerset County and the project’s partners, New Jersey Water Supply Authority, Rutgers University Cooperative Extension Program, and the Somerset-Union Soil COnservation District.

Also on hand for the ribbon-cutting were donors for the project, Greenscape Landscaping, Duke Farms, Pinelands Nursery and Grand Rental Station.

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