New Rain Gardens Protect Canton’s Brooks

Recently completed rain gardens at the Luce Elementary School and Devoll Field will protect nearby Pequid and Beaver Meadow Brooks from harmful stormwater pollution.

January 15, 2020

The Canton DPW is putting the finishing touches on a series of new rain gardens that they built over the past summer. In total, nine rain gardens, two swales, and a new set of stairs were built to protect nearby Pequid and Beaver Meadow Brooks from stormwater pollution.

The project improves the safety, aesthetics, and sustainability of Devoll Field and Dean S. Luce Elementary School, and provides a great new learning opportunity for the students and the general public.

We enjoyed working with the Canton DPW and engineering department on these important projects, which were made possible by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s 319 grant program.

Educate the Next Generation

The beautiful new rain gardens in the front of the Luce Elementary school provide a great outdoor learning opportunity for students to learn about stormwater pollution and green infrastructure solutions. The new gardens are planted with native plants and impressive birch clusters that will provide much-needed shade in the summer.

In the spring, staff from the Neponset River Watershed Association and the Canton DPW will lead the students in a special outdoor program to learn about the rain gardens.

A series of rain gardens near the entrance of Luce Elementary School


When the Snow Melts

Canton uses the parking lot at Devoll Field as an extra snow storage location. (In 2015, the massive snow pile lasted into June!) Before this project, when all of that snow melted, it carried pollutants and salt directly into Beaver Meadow Brook. Now, a newly built swale and rain garden treat the snowmelt before it reaches the brook.

Additionally, a newly installed guard rail now prevents drivers from accidentally going over the steep hill at the edge of the parking lot, and discourages illegal dumping.

The Devoll Field swale and rain garden while under construction


Addressing Erosion

The playground behind the Luce school used to flood during big storms, which caused erosion issues on a nearby hill. To address this, Canton installed a new drain system under the play equipment.

The town also repaired the erosion by building a cascading swale to direct the water down the hill. The swale directs water into a rain garden that treats the runoff before it reaches Pequid Brook. To improve safety, the playground fence was extended, keeping students away from the slope, and a brand new set of stairs provides safe access to the lower fields.

These new stairs allow students to safely access the lower fields


Learn More

Click here to learn more about stormwater pollution and rain gardens.

For more information on the project contact NepRWA Environmental Scientist, Chris Hirsch, hirsch@neponset.org or 781-575-0354 x302


This project has been financed with Federal Funds from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (the Department) under an s. 319 competitive grant. The contents do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of EPA or of the Department.

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