Kent Hospital

LID Type: Bioswale, Rain Garden, Water Efficient Landscaping

Use: Institutional

Installer: John Engwer, Groundscapes Express Inc.

Designer/Developer: Thomas S. Benjamin, Regenerative Design Group

Install Date: 2006-2011

Address: 455 Toll Gate Road

Town: Warwick

Zip Code: 02886

County: Kent


Thomas S. Benjamin, RLA, LEED AP

Regenerative Design Group, LLC


In 2002, Kent Hospital administrative personnel began the planning process of moving away from a typical, institutional campus to a more sustainable landscape that would be both low maintenance and cost-effective. The resulting design saw the implementation of a series of systems what would capture and treat stormwater as close to the source as possible, while using mostly native plant materials. This transition from strictly engineered to more natural systems signified a shift in thinking from ordinary stormwater management practices that would “concentrate, collect, and convey.”

The Trowbridge Center bioswale collects rainwater from an area roughly the same size as the system, approximately 2000 square feet, as well as some roof runoff. The system has sandy loam soils and utilizes a compost mulch to filter and treat runoff. There is also a storm drain at the end of the bioswale for overflow, although most of the water is filtered through the system and never reaches the drain. Due to its location next to a main roadway on the Kent campus, hardy native and naturalized plants were used to withstand heat, drought, sand, sun, and salt. Deep rooted vegetation, such as Fountain Grass, Russian Sage, Switchgrass, Goldenrod, and Gray Birch were planted densely for filtering and treatment qualities, and to reduce weed potential, thus minimizing maintenance down the road. Overall, the Trowbridge Center bioswale embraces the principles of restoration ecology, and is a productive use of space for managing stormwater.

The Breast Health Center rain garden, constructed in 2006, is approximately 2000 square feet and collects, filters, and treats runoff from roughly 1000 square feet of roof, as well as 1000-2000 square feet of overland flow. The garden is planted with a diverse selection of grasses, perennials, and shrubs, including Coneflower, Leucothoe, Blue Switchgrass, Mountain Laurel, Black-eyed Susan, Liatris, Blue Sage, Astilbe, and Solomon’s Seal, among others. Additionally, it does not require any pesticide applications or irrigation.

The Infusion Center serenity garden, constructed in 2008, is only a tenth of an acre, but decreased the amount of impervious surface from approximately 1000-2000 square feet of parking spaces.

The recently completed Plaza of Honor integrates a sustainable landscape with natural surroundings through water conserving design and forest edge habitat plantings. The plaza’s rain garden/bioswale captures water from the nearby impervious surface and filters and treats the runoff with native species such as Switchgrass and Joe-Pye Weed.

Kent Hospital
Kent Hospital
Kent Hospital
Kent Hospital
Kent Hospital

Address: 455 Toll Gate Road, Warwick, 02886, Kent