Planting for Clean Water

Helping to create a cleaner community 

Clean Water Communities recognize the importance of protecting water quality in the Long Island Sound and its harbors and embayments. They are taking action to preserve and protect the ecological balance of the water in a healthy, productive and resilient state, which benefits both people and the natural environment

We would like to give a special thank you to the Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardener program, Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee, Town of Oyster Bay, Friends of Cedarmere, Village of Bayville, Village of Centre Island, Nassau County Department of Public Works, Nassau County Parks Department, and all of our volunteers for their help.  Only by working together, were we able to complete these projects.

Blue Flag Iris - iris versicolor

Throughout 2016 and 2017, the Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District worked on three raingardens, utilizing grant funding through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Long Island Sound Study's Long Island Sound Futures Fund.  These raingardens will help reduce pollution carried by stormwater runoff to the Long Island Sound .  The location of each raingarden was carefully chosen and built where it would collect the most stormwater runoff. 


Beginning in 2018, the Nassau County Soil & Water Conservation District has been constructing raingardens throughout Bayville. Clean Water Communities reduce contaminant load and nutrient loads by installing raingardens and utilizing green infrastructure.

In 2022 the Nassau County Soil & Water Conservation District finished the project with the installation of permeable pavement at the Bayville Community Center. Helping increase infiltration and reduce stormwater runoff pollutants and excess nutrients in the area. 

Rain Gardens and Permeable Pavement at Bayville Community Center
Bayville Community Center Permeable Pavers

The Nassau County Soil & Water Conservation District completed two projects at Bayville Community Center to promote clean water communities. In 2018 the District built a Raingarden filled with native plants. In 2022 the project was completed with the installation of permeable pavement. Strategically located in an area mostly covered by impervious surfaces; close to a road and parking lots, these green infrastructure improvements will have a positive impact on the surrounding landscape. 

Raingarden at Bayville Community Center
Bayville Village Hall

The first raingarden was built in front of Bayville Village Hall in Bayville, NY.  This raingarden collects runoff from the street, instead of allowing it to enter the storm drain located further down the road.  We also included a blue stone bridge, which allows for viewing of the raingarden in its entirety.

Rock Bridge in Raingarden 1
Rock Bridge in Raingarden 2
Cedarmere Preserve Raingarden
Cedarmere Preserve

The second raingarden was built at Cedarmere Preserve in Roslyn, NY.  This raingarden was built in two sections, with a path dividing the two.   Large boulders were hand placed and used as a retaining wall behind each raingarden, allowing for each section to catch the maximum amount of water.  We also incorporated a drainage pipe around the parking lot which overlooks the raingardens, this is meant to catch the water flowing over the parking lot, and bring it into the raingarden to be filtered.  Once in the drainage pipe, water flows down into the first raingarden, and once that raingarden is full, an overflow pipe underneath the path leads water into the second raingarden.

Cedarmere Preserve Raingarden 1
Cedarmere Preserve Raingarden 2
Cedarmere Preserve Raingarden Drain
Cedarmere Preserve Raingarden Volunteers
Cedarmere Preserve Raingarden Drain 2
Cedarmere Preserve Raingarden Drain 3
Centre Island

The third raingarden was built near the entrance to Centre Island in Oyster Bay, NY.  This raingarden is in a vital location, because it is located less than 25 feet from the shoreline.  Water captured here, would otherwise be flowing freely into Oyster Bay and subsequently the Long Island Sound.  The raingarden is placed along the street, where it works to capture stormwater runoff and filter it.

Cedarmere Preserve Raingarden 4
Cedarmere Preserve Raingarden Volunteers 2
Interested in building your own Rain Garden? 


Give us a call at 516-364-5860 or send us an email at


Each of these raingardens came with their own unique challenges and rewards and will work towards improving water quality in Long Island for years to come.