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Green Infrastructure Project Completed

A bioswale was installed at the West 1 Parking Lot to improve local and regional water quality.

We are excited to announce the completion of the bioswale located along the Loop at the West 1 Parking Lot.

This bioswale will absorb and naturally filter more than 26,500 cubic feet of water runoff generated from impervious surfaces on campus to reduce runoff pollution and make a big difference for local and regional water quality.

Surface water runoff is the main source of pollution in streams and rivers. At Purchase, surface water flows into the surrounding Blind Brook stream which ultimately outflows into the Long Island Sound, approximately 10 miles from the bioswale site. In the 2008 EPA Clean Watershed Needs Survey, Blind Brook ranked 12th in the Mid-Hudson Valley area in total documented need, and 7th in Westchester County.

Bioswale in the West 1 Parking Lot

The College recognized our environmental responsibility as a leading institution in the impact area. This initiative would be one of many projects that President Thomas Schwarz has implemented that focuses on increasing green infrastructure for a more sustainable community, benefiting campus as well as local residents.

The bioswale will manage stormwater by utilizing engineered soils and all-native vegetation to capture, treat, and filter surface water runoff. The system will decrease the volume of water and reduce pollutants such as phosphorus, nitrogen, sediments, metals and pathogens from reaching Blind Brook.

This project will also assume a teaching role by acting as a living laboratory for students and the general public interested in environmental sustainability. Faculty members have integrated this project into their course curriculum and will assign research projects to students to monitor the impact this project has on campus.

Visitors can access the site and obtain more information of the system and the native plants utilized via interpretive signage located at the bioswale in West 1.