UNION COUNTY, NJ - A rain-or-shine bus tour, organized by organized by experts from the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County and the Rahway River Watershed Association, will visit 'green infrastructure' at schools, libraries, public works yards, and private homes on June 17 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.. The half-day tour will visit five sites in Summit, Springfield, Clark, Rahway and Mountainside.

The tour is designed to demonstrate the ways in which 'green infrastructure' can help prevent excess runoff from storms and melting snow. 'Green infrastructure' can also cut maintenance costs while adding attractive features to a property. Attendees will view and learn about rain gardens that use special soil and native plantings to reduce excess stormwater, porous asphalt surfaces that enable excess rain and snowmelt to seep into the ground, and cisterns for rainwater harvesting.

“Union County is now home to some good examples of strategies that save money while helping to conserve water and reduce runoff,” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen. “The bus tour is a good opportunity to walk through these sites and get a feel for how they can enhance a property and benefit the bottom line.”

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Attendance is open to municipal agencies, environmental groups and other organizations, property owners and managers, businesses including landscapers and builders, and members of the general public. Public works employees who attend the tour can qualify for three technical Certified Public Works Manager (CPWM) credits.

The cost of the tour is $20 per person. The bus will leave from Union County’s Trailside Nature and Science Center, located at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside. Free parking is located on site. Online registration is available at tinyurl.com/raingardentour.

For more information, contact Michele Bakacs, County Environmental Agent, at 732-398-5274 or mbakacs@rutgers.edu.