New Paltz Green Infrastructure Projects
The data buoy is only a small part of a much larger initiative taking place at SUNY New Paltz. There are a number of projects underway to improve campus sustainability.
A bioswale is a landscape element designed to remove silt and pollutants from surface runoff. It has sloped sides and is filled with vegetation and stones. The bioswale on campus is located just north of the Gunk and should improve the quality of the water flowing into the Gunk.
The parking lot east of route 32 was repaved with a permeable material. The permeable surface allows rainwater to percolate through to the ground, reducing the amount of stormwater runoff. The idea is to keep the water out of storm drains where they can overwhelm the sewer system during rainstorms and bring pollution into our waterways.
Rainwater falling along the perimeter of the route 32 parking lot will be captured by stormwater diffusers. The diffusers direct and slow the flow of water to minimize erosion.
Two Downstream Defenders have been placed in the vicinity of Hasbrouck dining hall. They filter stormwater runoff using a vortex separator, which causes oils and other pollutants to move to the surface where they can be removed.
Rainwater cisterns have been placed at the new Wooster Science building and LeFevre Hall. They channel water from the roof into storage cisterns. This water is then available for campus use such as watering plants and trees.
Rain gardens have been built into the parking lots of the new science building and the new residence hall. The rain gardens are vegetated areas in the middle of parking lots that capture rain water and reduce stormwater runoff.
New vegetation has been planted along the edges of the Gunk and the Saw Mill Brook designed to shade and protect the waterway and increase overall water quality.
The stream flowing through the New Paltz Peace Park has recently been brought back out into the light. Daylighting is a process of bringing back to the surface a waterway that had been previously redirected into underground culverts. Daylighting creates new riparian environments and also has aesthetic benefits.