FOBC brings rain gardens to homeowners

Feb. 22, 2014 @ 11:16 AM

A rain garden initiative is taking root in Chapel Hill thanks to the Friends of Bolin Creek.
The nonprofit organization will be working with area homeowners to build rain gardens in an effort to decrease stormwater runoff, improve water quality, protect land and beautify towns.
Rain gardens are saucer-shaped depressions that are filled with native flood and drought tolerant plants that temporarily catch rainwater and allow it to slowly sink into the ground or be taken up by the plants.
“We are excited that we can help homeowners with the tools they need,” said FOBC President Julie McClintock. “Imagine the difference we could make, if everyone built a rain garden!”
FOBC is offering a series of rain garden workshops to help participants build their own rain gardens, with the first held on Feb. 22. The workshops will be repeated in the fall.
Additional supplies will be available for workshop participants after instruction.
FOBC said that the rain gardens will reduce storm water problems by slowing storm flow, reducing pollutants that flow into streams and by increasing infiltration.
Wendy Smith, stormwater management/environmental education coordinator in Chapel Hill’s department of public works, said that besides adding beauty rain gardens can also invite native wildlife.
“Rain gardens can be an economical and effective way of reducing powerful and erosive stormwater discharge from storm drains into creeks,” Smith said. “With native plants, they also welcome birds and butterflies, adding color and beauty to our communities.”
For information about the Friends of Bolin Creek rain garden initiative, contact FOBC at FOBC.rain.gardens@gmail.com. Additional information can be found at www.bolincreek.org.