Each year, the Athens-Clarke County Stormwater Management Program presents the Stormwater Steward Award to an organization, business, individual, or community group that has gone above and beyond to reduce the impact of stormwater runoff on our waters through a specific project, practice, or event. A list of past stormwater steward winners can be found here.
Congratulations to the 2019 Stormwater Steward Award Winner: Alice H. Richards Children's Garden at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia
The Athens-Clarke County Stormwater Management Program recognizes the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Koons Environmental Design, and theUniversity of Georgia Office of University Architects for Facilities Planningfor their hard work on the long awaited Alice H. Richards Children's Garden. Although the Children’s Garden is not yet open to the public - the Grand Opening is on Saturday, March 23 - we know that this new facility will be an incredible amenity to our community.
The Children’s Garden is a designed learning environment that combines a variety of garden features such as themed gardens, edible landscapes, hands on garden plots, and interpretive elements specific to the state that will be interwoven with programming from the Botanical Garden’s wonderful Education Department. The overarching goal is to inspire children with a love of nature. The design of the Garden creates a ‘sense of place’ in Georgia by incorporating native plants and Georgia habitat gardens while highlighting natural processes such as pollination, soil composition, water, plants, insects, and animals. Water is an important feature of the Children's Garden; the Georgia Discovery Plaza educates children about Georgia's rivers, from the mountains eco zone through the piedmont to the coastal plain. At the Bog Garden, children are introduced to a pitcher plant bog, which are an endangered species that thrives in fresh water bog locations but are threatened due to loss of habitat. The pond area introduces children to native plants and animals that are critical to this native habitat. Additionally, at the Sand Play area, children experience water as art where they can 'water paint' a granite canvas from a water reservoir. Outside of these delightful learning opportunities, this project reducedimpervious surface on the Garden’s property by 3,300 square feet. In addition to reducing impervious area, stormwater inlets are positioned within the landscaping, providing an opportunity for runoff to infiltrate before it enters the pipe system. The restroom building rooftop sends stormwater to a large cistern in the 'Dig & Grow' area where children use water drawn from the cistern to water plants.
This project is an outstanding example of innovative and intentional site design. ACC Stormwater is proud to partner with these organizations, as they help further our mission of protecting our water from street to stream. Congratulations to the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Koons Environmental Design, and the Office of University Architects!
Renderings provided by UGA Office of University Architects for Facilities Planning
Children's Garden photos provided by UGA Office of the Vice President for Public Service & Outreach