June 5, 2009
Batavia, Ohio. “Too many kids suffer from a nature deficit disorder,” said Wes Duren of Marvin’s Organic Gardens, as he instructed a group of Clough Pike Elementary second graders on how to plant a rain garden at their school. The newly planted garden is one of 10 that are planned at Clermont County schools this year, as part of an EPA grant won by the Clermont County Soil and Water Conservation District. “We recognize that schools are the focal point of a community and many people will see how easy the rain gardens are to plant and how much they ultimately benefit the environment,” said Storm Water Project Manager John McManus.
Basically, a rain garden is an inexpensive and environmentally sound solution to urban storm water runoff. The garden is a shallow, constructed depression that is planted with deep-rooted native plants and grasses. It is located in a landscape to receive runoff from hard surfaces such as roofs, sidewalks, and driveways. Rain gardens slow down the rush of water from these hard surfaces, they hold the water for a short period of time, and then allow it to naturally infiltrate into the ground.
Clough Pike Elementary teacher Beth Testa has enjoyed educating her class about the benefits of the two gardens they have constructed in the front of the school. “The children got to help pick out the plants and are having a lot of fun putting them into the ground. Over the years, I look forward to working with future classes to see how the rain garden plants respond to various seasons.”
Landscaper Duren says that even if you have a black thumb, you can plant a rain garden. “They are drought tolerant and actually thrive on neglect!” he said, while instructing the class to put down a layer of newspapers to act as natural weed control around the plants.
“There are so many reasons to plant a rain garden, and they are so easy to do, there should be one in just about every yard,” said McManus. “They remove standing water in your yard, recharge local groundwater, improve water quality, serve as a filter for runoff pollutants, and help protect rivers and streams.” For more information about rain gardens, contact the Clermont County Storm Water Management Department at (513) 732-7880.
Pictured above: Rachael Hartness and Jake Robinson help teacher Beth Testa plant flowers in one of the two Clough Pike Elementary school rain gardens.
#For additional information about this or other county news, contact Clermont County Communications Director Kathy Lehr at (513) 732-7597 or by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.