For more information:

Shawn S. Mayers 401.439.8763


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JAMESTOWN, RI —  April 23, 2014,– groundSwell Designs has been awarded a two-year contract by the Town of Franklin, MA, to provide a training program for the town’s residents on how to design, install and maintain rain gardens.  The program, entitled “Soak it Up Franklin,” is sponsored by the Town of Franklin, with support from the Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  The training series will feature a lecture, an interactive installation of a demonstration rain garden and a planting kit for participants to use in designing their own rain gardens.


What is a rain garden? 

 “Rain gardens can be an effective first step in managing the rain that runs off of roofs, driveways and other impervious areas  — and reducing pollutants carried in that runoff that ultimately make their way to area waterways,” said Shawn Mayers, principal at groundSwell Designs.  “Stormwater runoff is the leading cause of pollution to the Charles River and many cities and towns are faced with water resource challenges because of this.  Franklin, with several rain gardens integrated into the town’s stormwater management practices, has been on the forefront of implementing sustainable approaches to managing the town’s natural resources,” she added.


Mayers explained that a rain garden is specifically designed and located to capture rainwater, slow it down, filter pollutants and allow it to soak back into the ground.   Rain gardens are typically planted with native trees, shrubs, perennials and grasses that are specifically chosen to tolerate the wet/dry cycle.  They are becoming increasingly popular throughout the country and can be seen on college campuses, neighborhood cul de sacs, business parking areas and municipal roadways alike.  “The training program will arm residents with the information and confidence to build a simple rain garden at their own homes, while at the same time empower local citizens to engage in an important environmental initiative,” said Mayers. “I am really looking forward to providing this information to people who are interested in making a difference.”


The first training session will take place at 257 Fisher St. in Franklin, MA on May 3.  More information, including how to register, can be found at the program website:  Training sessions are free for Franklin residents.


groundSwell Designs is a collaborative landscape design studio located in Jamestown, RI.  The company provides ecological site planning; landscape design; rain garden design, installation & training; analysis and consultation services throughout the Northeast.  With sustainability at the heart of every project, the firm crafts innovative, custom designed landscape solutions that stand the test of time.  For more information,