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October 16, 2015

Bookworm Gardens Stormwater Solution

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There’s no denying that Bookworm Gardens is full of beautiful plants, displays, and sculptures based upon children’s literature. But one sculpture in particular is more than meets the eye. A whimsical turtle resting on a tree stump is featured in the new “Water Is Water” display. The tree stump cleverly serves as part of the overflow structure for a new raingarden/biofilter system designed by Donohue to collect stormwater, promote infiltration, and improve water quality.

Stormwater from the adjacent roadway and parking areas used to flow into Bookworm Gardens along Campus Drive and then into a ravine located on the garden site. Because of the concentrated flow paths and terrain steepness, the water was eroding parts of the garden and flooding other areas.

Bookworm Gardens staff wanted to solve the drainage and flooding issues, but also wanted a solution that treated the water as a resource. After meeting with the staff to discuss the issues, Donohue conducted a drainage study to evaluate the area. The study concluded that the solution would be to regrade a section of the roadway terrace to form a ditch and construct a rain garden with an overflow system to the nearby ravine.

“Donohue is pleased to donate time to design solutions for organizations such as Bookworm Gardens. It was a very rewarding experience to contribute to this project and I look forward to seeing Bookworm Gardens continue thriving and be enjoyed by everyone in our community,” remarked Donohue engineer Sandy Kimmler.

The “Water Is Water” display opened to the public after a ribbon-cutting ceremony on October 11, 2015. The display is based on Miranda Paul’s book entitled “Water Is Water,” a children’s book about the water cycle.

The two-acre Bookworm Gardens, located adjacent to the UW-Sheboygan campus, offers the young and young-at-heart the opportunity for free, unstructured play in a beautiful environment. The garden is based completely on children’s literature—over 60 different books are represented.

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