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May 22

[ARCHIVED] Retain Your Rain Workshop at Bay View Elementary

The original item was published from May 22, 2017 2:39 PM to February 25, 2019 12:34 PM

Retain Your Rain Crew

This Spring, the City of Norfolk, in collaboration with the Norfolk Master Gardeners, Bayview Civic League, Bay View Elementary School, and Norfolk Master Naturalists, hosted a Retain Your Rain workshop at Bay View Elementary School. This workshop is one of the components of the Retain Your Rain initiative, which seeks to engage Norfolk residents in a city-wide, systemic approach to water management. By holding rainwater where it falls, residents can make a difference by reducing the amount of water entering the stormwater system, which in turn helps reduce flooding.

On an unusually hot Saturday morning in April, over 40 dedicated volunteers braved the heat to get their hands dirty installing green infrastructure projects at the school. Participants completed the following small-scale flood mitigation projects during the workshop. Together, these projects will capture about 600 gallons of rainwater! Thanks to everyone who attended for helping create the coastal community of the future!

Rain Barrel and Rain Garden Installation

Kids Planting

In a corridor that floods often, volunteers installed a rain barrel, beautifully painted by Bay View students, and planted a rain garden. The rain barrel will capture rainwater runoff from the roof of the school and slowly drain it into the rain garden. The rain garden was planted with native plants that will capture the rainwater and slowly filter out pollutants as it soaks into the ground. This project is a great example of the extra benefits you get when pairing two projects together

Rain Garden before

Rain Garden After

Bioswale Improvements


This bioswale collects and slows the flow of rainwater runoff from the parking lot. It also helps clean pollutants out of the water before returning to the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The bioswale was planted with native plants and flowers to improve its functionality and appearance. 

Bioswale Before

Bioswale after

Downspout Disconnection


The final project completed was a downspout disconnection. The rainwater runoff from a downspout was creating erosion problems at the base of the school because the water had no place to go. So, volunteers used gravel to redirect the water to an existing storm drain and a green space to absorb the rainwater. 

Downspout before


Downspout After