Rain garden springs to life, Cape Gazette 06/03/2014


In Cape Gazette Tues edition

Cape Gazette 06/03/2014, Page 18

Rain garden springs to life

GIRL SCOUT DAISY Troop 65 from Milton, dig in to fill the prepared rain gar­den with plants.

GIRL SCOUT DAISY Troop 65 from Milton, dig in to fill the prepared rain gar­den with plants. Photo by: Deny Howeth

In Lewes, a new rain garden is emerging in an unlikely place – a little blue house in a block of Schley Avenue that is home to the city’s streets department garage and the Lewes Board of Public Works facilities.

The Greater Lewes Communi­ty Village has taken up residence in the blue house and finds it to be an excellent fit.

One day not long ago Joe Far­rell of the Sea Grant Program at University of Delaware visited the little blue house and saw the potential for supporting com­munity storm water education as well as adding to the attractive­ness of the site.

Kaitlyn Morris gets a hand from dad removing a water filtering plant from its pot.

Kaitlyn Morris gets a hand from dad removing a water filtering plant from its pot. Photo by: Deny Howeth

He enlisted folks from the De­partment of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Di­vision of Watershed Stewardship.

Shortly thereafter, soil samples were taken and the site was deemed worthy of proceeding. On May 13, the Sussex County Conservation staff took care of the construction phase, then May 28 Girl Scout Troup 65 and DNREC experts did the planting.

The whole concept behind a rain garden is to capture polluted stormwater runoff from imper­vious surfaces, such as roofs, sidewalks and driveways before it enters local streams and the Delaware Bay.

Native drought tolerant plants and amended soils help absorb and remove nutrients and pro­vide a habitat for wildlife.

Daisy Troop Scouts (l-r) Izzy Windsor, Dilyla Rohls, Kaitlyn Morris, Laila Sell­ers and Madison Layfield listen to pointers on planting from Sara Esposito, left, and Lara Allison, right, from the Division of Watershed Stewardship.

Daisy Troop Scouts (l-r) Izzy Windsor, Dilyla Rohls, Kaitlyn Morris, Laila Sell­ers and Madison Layfield listen to pointers on planting from Sara Esposito, left, and Lara Allison, right, from the Division of Watershed Stewardship. Photo by: Deny Howeth

The follow-up to this adven­ture will be a public workshop about rain gardens at the Lew­es Public Library at 2:30 p.m., Thursday, June 5.

Following the workshop there will be an optional trip to ob­serve the newly constructed GLCV rain garden at 225 Schley Ave.

Participants will be able to walk or drive to that nearby location. Refreshments will be served. Visitors are welcome.

The project is supported by a grant from Rain Garden for the Bays, technical support from DNREC and local volunteers.