A native wildflower meadow and rain garden were completed at Boyce Park’s Four Seasons Lodge in fall 2021 with funding from PA DEP's Growing Greener Grant awarded to Allegheny County Conservation District in partnership with Allegheny County Parks Department.
How Rain Gardens Work
A 900-square-foot rain garden will capture stormwater from an adjacent asphalt parking lot where water can be slowly absorbed into the ground. This will prevent nutrients and sediment commonly found in parking lot runoff from flowing into Abers Creek, a tributary to Turtle Creek, and will ultimately serve to improve water quality and reduce stormwater volumes that can cause flooding in the watershed.
The rain garden will have approximately 18 inches of sand-based soils to promote infiltration and allow for a 12-inch temporary ponding depth with additional underground storage for larger rain events. The garden will be planted with deer-resistant natives and pollinator-friendly species to improve wildlife habitat.
How Native Meadows Work
Two maintained turf hillsides will be transformed into native northeastern wildflower meadows totaling 9,500 square feet. These hillsides receive runoff from parking lots, sidewalks and roads. An established meadow will reduce stormwater runoff, increase infiltration, capture sediment, filter pollutants and provide plant species for pollinators. Additional meadows will continue the progress of transforming mowed areas into systems that provide ecological services while demonstrating new Best Management Practices (BMPs) to visitors.
The Boyce Park Ecological Assessment
These projects were selected from the Boyce Park Ecological Assessment completed by the Western PA Conservancy (WPC) for the Allegheny County Parks Foundation. The purpose of the Ecological Assessment was to provide information on the current ecological conditions and maintenance activities of Boyce Park and present prioritized recommendations for actions that will enhance the quality and function of the park and improve the park experience for all visitors. Among the overall recommendations, WPC suggested converting some mowed areas to native meadows to increase wildlife habitat, improving stormwater management at various locations.
Boyce Park Four Season's Lodge Rain Garden