Monday, July 6

Rain Gardens for the Bays in Dover Delaware Schools

On Thursday I got to install a school wetland rain garden I designed.  We had 45 volunteers show up for the planting from small children to adults and professionals, all wanting to see the planting, learn what it is about and get their hands dirty and their feet wet!

It started raining about an hour into the set up and we waited out the hardest downpour, then got busy moving plants and laying out pathways.  We placed 450 plants including all native to Delaware Coastal Plain species including rushes, sedges, grasses, perennials, shrubs and trees that will provide habitat for bees, birds and butterflies (as well as some frogs and salamanders).

The rain garden filters water running off of the roof of the school building, picking up pollutants along the way, as well as oil from the nearby parking lot.  The storm water will collect in the rain garden and settle before infiltrating down into the soil, getting cleaned as it goes.  Having a local place for rain to go is better than it running into a street drain where it sometimes ends up polluting a waterway.

The school principal was all about getting her hands dirty and she stayed out through the rain and bugs because she's a hiker and knows how important being close to nature is for kids today. As puddles formed from the rain, kids started splashing and kicking as well as digging holes in the dirt. Everyone left soaked but excited for the plants to grow to form a living classroom where everything is constantly moving and changing.

 Blue flag Iris


 Swamp Milkweed

 Possumhaw Viburnum

 Lizard Tail

 Softstem Bulrush

River Birch

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