In New York City, 2,000 square miles of upstate forest and farmlands protect our water supply. Rain and melted snow percolate through three watersheds into 19 reservoirs and 3 lakes. 1,000,000,000 (billion) gallons of clean, purified water flow to the 8,000,000 people in New York City and beyond.

The water we drink needs to be purified, but not for plants. The garden at IS 141Q collects rainwater to sustain the plants. The corrugated metal roof of a Cedar shade structure channels rain into two barrels that hold 110 gallons of water. In addition to this aboveground system, 200 gallons of rainwater are stored underground in a bioswale. Together, these two systems harvest enough water to sustain the garden for five weeks in the dry season.

Rainwater collection system at PS141

Providing shade in the summer the cedar structure also serves as an anchor for an outdoor weather station. Students can measure temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed, dew point, and heat index for scientific analysis.

Visit this garden at IS 141Q 37-11 21st Ave., Astoria 11105