SaraBurnsTaunton Sara Burns adds to the growing pile of removed invasives. © Cameron Bruns/The Nature Conservancy

Stories in Massachusetts

Restoring a Rain Garden

Naturally, the forecast called for rain on the day that Sara Burns, a water resource scientist for The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts, went out to lead maintenance work on a rain garden. The plan was to meet about 20 students from the Bristol Agricultural High School at the rain garden in Mill River Park behind the police station in Taunton.

“I was relieved to see how eager all of the students were despite the chilly, drizzly weather,” says Burns. “In addition to being completely engaged while I was explaining how the garden protects the nearby Mill River, they were also extremely hard workers.”

The maintenance, which involved removing invasive plants and clearing silt and buildup from a storm drain, could have easily taken 2-3 days, but the motivated team, under Burns’ guidance, fully weeded, cleaned and functionally restored the garden in a single afternoon—leaving the surrounding community more flood resilient and beautiful.