August 21, 2013

Free Rain Garden Workshop Hosted in Clermont County

Goshen High School students plant their rain garden.

Goshen High School students plant their rain garden.

Goshen, OH – On Saturday, August 31, 2013, the Goshen Park District and the Clermont Soil & Water Conservation District are hosting a free rain garden workshop at Stagge-Marr Park, from 9 a.m. to approximately 1:30 p.m. The park is located at 6662 Goshen Road in Goshen Township. Rain garden experts from Greenacres Foundation and Turpin Farms will be on hand to talk about everything participants need to know about building their own rain garden.

Rain gardens are built in a shallow depression which is designed to absorb and filter rain water.  They are planted with wild flowers and native plants, such as Blazing Stars, Lobelia, and Coneflowers, that soak up rain water and filter it into the ground over a 24 to 48 hour period, instead of allowing it to run off into a storm drain or ditch.  These types of environmentally friendly gardens allow about 30 percent more water to soak into the ground than a conventional lawn.

Unlike a wetland, rain gardens are designed to be completely dry after a maximum of two days, so standing water is not a problem.  Homeowners typically build a rain garden in areas where rain water is collected during a storm, such as below a roof downspout or small grassy waterways. “Rain gardens help to reduce the volume of storm water runoff and minimize the amount of water puddling in yards causing erosion.  They’re also an attractive landscape feature,” said John McManus, Administrator for the Clermont Soil and Water Conservation District.

A substantial amount of pollution is carried into our waterways by runoff from our lawns, rooftops, driveways, parking lots, and roadways.  Rain gardens capture the rain water runoff from those areas; the water is then absorbed by the rain garden plants and filtered into the ground.  Rain gardens are perfect for preventing pollutants such as fertilizers, pesticides, oil, and other hazardous fluids from entering our waterways. “There are many storm water-related challenges in Clermont County, including localized flooding problems, stream bank erosion and pollutants being washed into local streams with storm water runoff,” said McManus. “Any practice that stores storm water, slows it down, or soaks it into the ground, will help to alleviate these problems. Rain gardens help remove storm water runoff pollutants.

McManus noted native plants are best to use in rain gardens, because they are more resilient to local weather and require less fertilizer.

At the August 31 workshop, participants will learn the basics of creating their own rain garden, including locating the best site for a rain garden, sizing the garden, plant selection and more. At the conclusion of the workshop, everyone will have the opportunity to practice what they learned and help plant a new rain garden bed at Stagge-Marr Park.

The workshop is free and open to the public. Drinks will be provided, however participants are responsible for their lunch. Coolers will be available if you wish to bring a brown bag lunch.

If you have questions, contact at jmcmanus@clermontcountyohio.gov or call (513) 732-7075 ext. 3.  Register on-line at: http://www.clermontswcd.org/eventsraingarden.aspx

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