Ten Towns Committee
Bioretention Demonstration Project
Shrine of St. Joseph, Long Hill Township

The Best Management Practice (BMP) demonstration project at the St. Joseph’s Shrine retrofits a bioretention system to an existing parking lot. For additional information about bioretention systems, see our Fact Sheet.


Initially, the stormwater runoff from the parking lot simply flowed down the hill and over the lawn, eventually entering the Great Swamp Wildlife Refuge. There were no systems to limit either the quality or the quantity of runoff. In addition, there was an area of erosion that was beginning as a result of recent construction.


To address these problems, an area on the downhill side of the parking lot was re-graded to provide two shallow collection basins.


Special wetland shrubs and trees were planted in the basins. As they mature, the area will develop into an attractive wetland garden area.


During rainstorms, some of the stormwater will pool (less than a foot deep) in the basins for a period of a day or two, promoting infiltration and evapotranspiration as it maintains the vitality of the newly established wetlands.  (The deer fencing will be removed when the plants are established and well-rooted.)

The impervious parking area served by this BMP covers approximately 60,000 sq. ft. With an average 48 inches of rain per year, the stormwater runoff from this area would be enough to supply the water needs of approximately 85 people. Now, much of this water will be cleaned and recycled into natural systems as a result of the bioretention facility. Periodic sampling will be conducted during storm events to monitor the effectiveness of this BMP.

The Shrine of St. Joseph is on Long Hill Road in Stirling, NJ.  Driving Instructions

 Newspaper Coverage 



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Bioretention Demonstration Project, Shrine of St. Joseph
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