SJU Hosts Workshop on Stormwater Management

A free program for homeowners funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy

Friday, October 28, 2011

PHILADELPHIA (October 28, 2011) – Celebrating the one-year anniversary of the installation of the first green roof on the Saint Joseph’s University campus, the College of Arts and Sciences will host “Turning Stormwater Challenges into Opportunities: A Workshop for Homeowners,” on Friday, Nov. 18, from 7 to 8:45 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 19, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy received by SJU in October 2010, and planned in collaboration with the Lower Merion Conservancy, the program is free and open to the public; registration is required.

“This workshop, which is meant to help homeowners address storm water issues – literally in their own backyards – is very timely, as we are coming to the end of one of the rainiest years on record for Philadelphia and the surrounding area,” says Michael McCann, Ph.D., associate dean of SJU’s College of Arts and Sciences and professor of biology. “As the amount of ground covered by impervious surfaces increases, problems related to flooding and damage from rain and snow runoff will continue to increase. This program will provide information that will help homeowners address flooding and erosion problems in and around their property.”

Friday night will feature a keynote address in the Forum Theater in Campion Student Center at 7 p.m. by Carol Franklin, RLA, a nationally recognized expert in sustainable landscape design, a principal founder of the ecological planning and design firm Andropogon Associates, and a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects. Franklin’s address is titled “Metropolitan Paradise – The Wissahickon Valley.”

The conference continues Saturday morning in Doyle Banquet Hall in Campion Student Center at 9:30 a.m. with a welcome and introduction given by McCann and Patty Thompson, conservation director at the Lower Merion Conservancy.

“Stormwater is truly our number one environmental problem in Lower Merion,” says Thompson. “Previously, properties were designed to shed rainwater as fast as possible, but now we need residences to hold as much water for as long as possible. Lots of new ways to accomplish this are just becoming available. We hope this workshop will inspire conference attendees and give them tools to not only control stormwater, but also to create a lovely landscape that benefits them and local wildlife, as well.”

Throughout the day, participants will have the opportunity to attend a panel discussion on stormwater solutions, tour SJU’s green roof system and learn about rain gardens, rain barrels and meadows as management systems for stormwater issues. In addition, a tour of Villanova University’s stormwater management system is available at the end of Saturday’s events.

Speakers include Rick Howley of the Philadelphia Water Department; Megan Gonzalez, Pennsylvania Environmental Council; Julie Snell, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society; Harriet Cramer, Cramer Design Associates; Susan Harris, Montgomery County Conservation District; Drew Gilchrist, Natural Lands Trust; and Bridget Wadzuk, Villanova University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Registration for the workshop is required and can be completed by visiting, where further information on the event is also available.

The Lower Merion Conservancy can be reached at 610-645-9030 or

Media Contact

 Patricia Allen, Senior Associate Director of University Communications, 610-660-3240,

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