A high-impact, high-visibility rain garden has been installed in front of the Langdon Public Library in Newington, NH, by the UNH Stormwater Center (UNHSC). The library is currently undergoing a renovation and addition project so the timing was perfect for a rain garden installation.

The installation was part of the Great Bay Municipal Bioretention Program, otherwise known as “Biopalooza,” which was established through a Watershed Assistance Grant and partnership between the UNHSC and the Southeast Watershed Alliance (SWA) to assist watershed municipalities in implementing improved stormwater management.

Newington’s installation features a rain garden designed by Altus Engineering; the design was donated as match for the project. The Biopalooza grant funded the materials, and the town road crew in cooperation with the Bauen Corporation (the builder for the Langdon Library renovation/addition project) excavated and installed the system.

Langdon Library Director Scott Campbell remarked: “When Town Planner Tom Morgan informed me that Newington had received this grant, he described the type of situation UNHSC wanted to remediate – a high-visibility spot with a chronic drainage problem. I immediately pointed to “Lake Langdon.”  The problem spot was a depressed triangle of clumpy, poorly growing grass in front of the library. It was not uncommon for the area to flood with up to a foot of standing water after a heavy rain, which would often take days to disperse. 

“We believe the rain garden will address the drainage problem while beautifying the area with appropriate plantings,” noted Melissa Prefontaine, chair of the Library Board of Trustees. “Since we were already redoing the parking and grounds for the new building, this project fit perfectly into the construction timeline.”

James Houle, program manager for the UNH Stormwater Center, noted: “As communities become more developed, stormwater needs more sophisticated management. With the Biopalooza projects, we can help communities manage stormwater in ways that have multiple benefits.”

Stratham and Durham have also installed stormwater managment practices through the Biopalooza program. Nice work UNHSC, SWA, and the Biopalooza partner communities!

Funding for this project was provided in part by a Watershed Assistance Grant from NH DES with Clean Water Act Section 319 funds from the US EPA.

Photos from the Newington Biopalooza Project:

Before Installation  before


During Installation  during


After Installation  after


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