Free rain garden workshop at Leominster Public Library

The Worcester County Conservation District invites you a free program at the Leominster Library on March 17 at 3 pm.  Ed Himlan of the Massachusetts Watershed Coalition will present a slideshow about the design and benefits of rain gardens.

RunoffRemedies intro blog 120413Rain gardens attract birds and butterflies, while protecting local streams and ponds. These gardens are planted with flowers, shrubs and grasses that are easy to maintain and thrive without fertilizers and pesticides.   The slideshow will explain where to place a rain garden, how to select plants and how to keep the garden flourishing as a beautiful accent for your home or business.

Runoff from rain and snow melt is a big problem as forests and fields are replaced by buildings, streets and parking lots. Rain garden plants and soils filter storm water and recycle nutrients that can harm water quality. The bowl-shape design also allows rain to recharge the groundwater that keeps streams healthy during drought conditions.

Spring is the ideal time to create a rain garden. Rain gardens can be placed in sunny or shady locations, and there are many plants that supply food and habitat for wildlife.   Participants will receive a free Pocket Guide with helpful tips about rain gardens and other runoff remedies.  To register for the rain garden workshop, phone Lisa Trotto (508) 829-4477 ext. 5.

This workshop is sponsored by the Worcester County Conservation District seedling program, which has many types of trees, flowers and shrubs for sale.  The plant selections can be viewed at http://worcesterconservation.org/buy-seedlings/

 

Need help starting a rain garden? Head to the Boston Flower and Garden Show

Boston Flower Show blog.jpegWith spring weather coming early this year, get a head start on your garden by going to the Boston Flower and Garden Show. Learn about the perennials and annuals available for your garden, as well as new landscaping techniques and trends. While you’re there, stop by the EPA’s booth and talk to the Massachusetts Watershed Coalition about starting a rain garden to reduce your home’s stormwater impact on local environments!

Stormwater is responsible for damaging as many as 75% of lakes and streams in the New England region due to runoff carried from fertilizers, sediments, and more. With a brand new rain garden, you can not only add visual appeal to your house, but you reduce the amount of harmful pollutants entering your local watershed and destroying local wildlife. The people of the Massachusetts Watershed Coalition can help you both beautify your yard and clean the environment.

The show runs March 16-20 at the Seaport World Trade Center, Boston with tickets available both online and at the door.

Free rain garden workshop at Fitchburg Public Library

Spring is the ideal time to create a rain garden.  Please join us on May 12 for a 6:30 pm workshop about how to beautify your yard and help keep streams healthy.  Ed Himlan of the Massachusetts Watershed Coalition will present a slideshow on the design and benefits of rain gardens.

119 West-Appleton reduced v.3Rain gardens attract birds and butterflies, while protecting local streams and ponds.  These gardens are planted with flowers, shrubs and grasses that are easy to maintain and thrive without fertilizers & pesticides.   The slideshow will explain where to place a rain garden, how to select plants and how to keep the garden flourishing as a beautiful accent for your home or business.

Storm runoff is a big problem as forests and fields are replaced by buildings, parking and hard surfaces. Rain garden plants and soils filter storm water and recycle nutrients that can harm water quality.  The bowl-shape design also allows rain to recharge the groundwater that keeps streams and ponds healthy during dry times.

Rain gardens can be placed in sunny or shady locations, and there are many plants that supply food and habitat for wildlife.   These natural areas make yards more attractive and nurture mini-ecosystems that you can enjoy watching.

This workshop is part of the Clearwater Revival Project.  Participants will receive a free Pocket Guide with helpful tips about rain gardens and other runoff remedies.  A shorter version of this Guide can also be downloaded from:  http://commonwaters.org/images/stories/pdfs/raingardn_gde.pdf

The May 12th workshop in the Garden Room at Fitchburg Library is cosponsored by the Montachusett Opportunity Council, Inc. and the Massachusetts Watershed Coalition. The program is free and no reservations are required.  For more information, contact Jenna David at 978-343-6259 ext. 228.

Creating More Beautiful and Healthier Neighborhoods with Rain Gardens

RunoffRemedies intro blog 120413While melting snow and spring rains will likely keep us out of our gardens for a few more weeks, now is the time to do some summertime dreaming and planning. Many people will be doing just that at the Boston Flower Show this week. Massachusetts Watershed Coalition will be sharing info about rain gardens at the EPA booth at the Flower Show on Saturday and Sunday, March 14th and 15th.

Every time it rains or snow melts away, the runoff from hard surfaces picks up and carries dirt, bacteria, fertilizers, pesticides, and debris, as well as oil and other fluids that drip from cars. Our roadways are really intermittent streams and almost all eventually empty into brooks and ponds without treatment. The increased nutrients and bacteria result in more weeds in our ponds, less fish habitat in our streams, and, increasingly, in toxic algae blooms.

Small actions that put rain in the ground quickly or disconnect clean rain from dirty streets provide big benefits. By implementing some simple and low-cost methods, homeowners and businesses can prevent pollution and reduce flooding. With a rain garden as part of your landscape, you’ll attract wildlife and beautify your neighborhood while helping prevent pollution and improve stream life.

rain garden church

Rain gardens are designed to retain storm water for a few hours, allowing it to seep into the ground. This groundwater replenishes waterways between rain events and sustains the health of stream life. Plants and soils in the rain garden help cleanse storm water and remove nutrients that can harm water quality. The plantings attract birds and beneficial insects like butterflies, bees, and dragonflies. Rain gardens make yards more attractive and form mini-ecosystems you will enjoy watching.

Planted with shrubs and perennials, rain garden construction is easy and upkeep is simple and inexpensive. If you do the design, digging, and collect seeds or plants from other people with gardens, the cost will be minimal. Or you can hire a professional landscaper. Depending on the types of plants and accessories you want, costs can range from $2-$5 per square foot for a homeowner installed garden to $8 – $12 or more per square foot for a professionally installed garden.

Rain Garden picture taken from the Massachusetts Watershed Coalition Rain Garden Guide

Rain Garden picture taken from the Massachusetts Watershed Coalition Rain Garden Guide

If you are at the Flower Show this weekend, stop by the EPA booth to pick up a copy of our Rain Garden Pocket Guide. You can also download the free Rain Garden Pocket Guide from the The Massachusetts Watershed Coalition at: http://www.commonwaters.org/images/stories/pdfs/raingardn_gde.pdf.

Rain Gardens

Rain gardens reduce pollution caused by stormwater. Planted with shrubs and perennials, upkeep is simple and inexpensive. By creating a rain garden you put stormwater into the ground and keep dirty runoff from harming streams, ponds and water supplies.

Picture from EPA Green Infrastructure Website

Rain Garden picture from EPA Green Infrastructure Website

Read more to learn how to plan and build a rain garden for your yard.

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