Thanks to a grant from the New River Valley Master Gardener’s Association, we’ll work with 72 fourth graders at Eastern Montgomery Elementary School to install a rain garden on school grounds this spring.
A rain garden is a garden of native shrubs, perennials, and flowers planted in a small depression. It is designed to temporarily hold and soak in rainwater runoff that flows from roofs, roads or grass. Rain gardens are effective in removing up to 90% of nutrients and chemicals and up to 80% of sediments from the rainwater runoff. Compared to a conventional lawn, rain gardens allow for 30% more water to soak into the ground.
A rain garden is actually dry most of the time. It typically holds water only during and following rainfall. Because rain gardens will drain within 12-48 hours, they prevent the breeding of mosquitoes.
The students will plan, design and build the garden with help from Youth Outreach Coordinator Mellissa Henry. The project will help the students learn about watersheds and water resources conservation and also provide habitat for native insects and wildlife. The garden will serve as an educational resource for students for years to come.