Drainage commissioner working on the rain garden in Benton Township

Berrien County Drainage Commissioner Christopher Quattrin plans to hold a ribbon cutting this month for a new rain garden his office is building in Benton Township. Quattrin told county commissioners this week that the rain garden on the property near the Meijer on Pipestone Road was nearing completion. His office received a $1.2 million grant for the project, and that was bolstered by a nearly $500,000 contribution from Meijer. Quattrin told us the garden is designed to reduce polluted runoff into Ox Creek.

“In particular, it was in the mall area where we have these huge asphalt seas, and the runoff was an old design where it was pouring right into our waterway, which is Ox Creek,” Quattrin said.

Quattrin says much of Ox Creek’s pollution comes from the general Orchards Mall area, with all the huge parking lots that produce a lot of runoff. The rain garden will filter pollutants from the water as it flows into the creek.

“It seeps, evaporates, gets cleaned as it is dosed through the system and into our drain, also known as Ox Creek.”

Quattrin says Ox Creek is one of the dirtiest waterways in the state, and this rain garden will filter pollutants from the water as it flows through the creek. When it is finished, it will have vegetation and other elements intended to filter water. The inauguration of the project will take place at 10 a.m. on September 28. Quattrin invited county commissioners to attend.