By Matt Mallio, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – Shrewsbury will be the beneficiary of a new rain garden, courtesy of Shrewsbury resident Alex Pellizzari of Boy Scout Troop 1004.
Pellizzari appeared before the Board of Selectmen May 23 to ask for permission to construct the garden as part of his Eagle Scout Service Project. In order to obtain the rank of Eagle, candidates must complete a service project that benefits the community.
A “rain garden,” according to Pellizzari, is like a regular garden, but its purpose is to catch rain water and filter any kind of pollutants out of the runoff.
Pellizzari said that his project was to create a 500-square-foot rain garden located at Gauch Park. The garden would be about 10 feet away from the outside edge of the sidewalk on Main Street. He said he hoped to complete the project by mid-summer or early fall.
“The project has already been approved by the conservation and the town engineer,” Pellizzari said. “The Conservation and Storm Water Coordinator, Mr. Brad Stone has agreed to oversee the project.”
“The Lake Quinsigamond Watershed Association has agreed to look after it,” said Pellizzari.
“Safety is extremely important for each Eagle project,” Pellizzari said. “So, every volunteer working on the project will be provided both safety equipment and a safety briefing. “
Parks, Recreation and Cemetery Director Angela Snell was at the meeting as well to discuss the project.
“We actually heard about rain gardens from the Lake Quinsigamond Watershed Association,” said Snell. “They’ve been building them on the Worcester side of the lake.”
Snell said they felt it would be a good idea to have a similar project in Shrewsbury. She said Pellizzari was the one who approached them about the idea.
“Alex has already done a lot of research on the project,” said Snell, adding “Gauche park definitely has some runoff of water from the Main Street parking lot to the lake.”
The rain garden, Snell said, would be “a great improvement.”
They approached the Board because the location of the rain garden would be near a public right of way.
Board of Selectmen Chair John Lebeaux asked Pellizzari how deep the rain garden would be “below grade.”
Pellizzari said that it would be about 12-18 inches. He said he hope to get some plant donations from the garden club. After a few questions, the selectmen voted in the affirmative to let Pellizzari move on with the project.
“Good luck,” Lebeaux said, noting that it would be a great improvement to the town facility. “We look forward to seeing it when it’s completed this fall.”
Pellizzari said that the project would “benefit the life around the lake.” He said another added benefit would be to put soil back around the lake as there had been some erosion.
Also at the meeting, selectmen renewed their membership of the 495/MetroWest Partnership. The board also reappointed Town Counsel Steven F. Madaus and Assistant Treasurer-Collector Paul Redmond.