Project Title: Rain Gardens
Project Participant(s): Hannah Benzing (working in conjunction with Glenn Skiles)
Description & Overview of Project:
After looking into stream restoration, I wondered what could be done for the small dormant creek in between the Science Center and Meek. I thought possibly adding some native Ohio plants to the area would spruce it up, and then John Krygier proposed to create a rain garden in the area. I then began to research rain gardens; how to go about creating them, best possible locations, and what they even were. I discovered that rain gardens are designed to collect water (from rainwater, flooding, and creek banks, practically anything that creates a run off of any kind) and absorb it, filter and drain the water. Through research I have found that it is better to use native plants if at all possible. Some native Ohio plants include: Bloodroot, Mayapple, wild geranium, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Solomon’s seal, Squirrel Corn and Trillium. But ones that would most likely be seen in a rain garden include: purple coneflower, white turtlehead, blue lobelia, and Ohio spiderwort. One of the difficulties though with this project is that the small creek is on Delaware city property. I still need to get to find out who to get in contact with to make this possibly happen. If this does not work out, I will be looking for an area around campus.
Outline of Project:
1. Contacts: People who will be helping with the project, or information I have gotten from them will be beneficial with the location of the rain garden.
– Barbara Wiehe: In charge of Ohio Wesleyan’s greenhouse and has insight on the native plants of Ohio, that would work best for rain gardens.
– Jann Ichida: Professor at Ohio Wesleyan for botany and microbiology. Has worked with rain gardens before and is well aware of the benefits and has some insight on them.
– City of Delaware Official: Still looking for who I need to contact in order to collaborate with the city to turn the small creek into a rain garden.
2. Design and Layout
– OWU student to design layout? Possible idea would be to ask an Ohio Wesleyan student to design a layout, get their name out as the designer.
-What layouts work best?
– Flowers to be planted: Make sure to use all native plants of Ohio. 5 benefits of native plants include:
1. Live longer than exotics
2. More tolerant of local weather and soil conditions
3. Enhance the natural biodiversity in an area
4. More beneficial to native wildlife, providing food and shelter
5. Require less water, fertilizer and maintenance
– Who is going to do the physical labor? Should we get B & G to plant, or since it’s my idea and project would it best if I plant.
– When will it be the best time to plant? If this is possible, planting sometime this fall will be very beneficial to the area. Swim meets will be underway and I think it will enhance the area.
– How to Work Shop:
– Get the community involved
Ichida, Jann. “Rainwater Recover and Rain Gardens at OWU”. Green OWU. 2009. Web. 20 September 2011. <http://greenowu.wordpress.com/category/rain-gardens/>.
Jann Ichida comes up with some helpful hints on how a functioning rain garden should do. Also, Jann brings up some legal issues for instance; Ohio has size restrictions on how big a rain garden can be. A map/picture is presented to help guide and see what a rain garden should look like. As well, two different funding opportunities.
“How a Rain Garden Works”. Scioto Gardens. 20 September 2011. <http://www.sciotogardens.com/rain%20gardens.html>.
This article, from Scioto Gardens (right here in Delaware), displays how a rain garden works. Includes design plans, creating your own list, sizing, and how to construct a rain garden from start to finish. This is a good example of getting the community involved and helping them see the benefits of rain gardens.
Central Ohio Rain Garden Initiative. 2011. 20 September 2011. <http://www.centralohioraingardens.org/?cat=8&paged=3>.
This website, provided by Central Ohio Rain Garden Initiative provides a Google map of rain gardens in central Ohio. Links on the side provide their project ideas, newsletters, and plants that can be found native to Ohio and what you’re likely to see in a rain garden.
“What is a Rain Garden”. Rain Garden Network. 2003. 20 September 2011. <http://www.raingardennetwork.com/>.
This site includes a definition as to what a rain garden is and why you should plant a rain garden. The site also includes water and storm water runoff, more storm water alternatives, and rainwater harvesting.
“Create a Garden”. Raingarden.org. WMEAC. 20 September 2011. <http://www.raingardens.org/index.php/create-a-garden/>.
I found this website to be very helpful. It had quite a few tips on what you should do before you start, designing, preparing the site, car, and rain garden care. This site is good for helping anyone create a rain garden.
Will be collaborating with Jann to provide insight on ideas about rain gardens.
Will be collaborating with Barb to provide insight on ideas about rain gardens.