Rebecca Fox enjoying the rain garden
by Joan H. Young
a GOTC Exclusive
We met in the rain, Rebecca Fox and I, to explore the rain garden. It seemed appropriate, and the chilly, damp day was not able to dim Rebecca's smile. Rebecca spearheaded the effort to create the garden, which was built in 2005.
The rain garden can be found at West Shore Community College, just off the northeast corner of the Arts & Science parking lot. Many people mistake it for a weed patch, and that is their loss. Like many worthwhile projects one needs to look a little more closely to appreciate what it has to offer.
As we approach autumn, the design of the garden is hidden from view. Snaking through the now-tall plants is a spiraled and branched stone walkway inviting people to wander through the garden and to look closely at the plants growing there. The "secret" paths would be especially inviting to a child.
swamp milkweed seeds
Rain gardens are planted in areas which receive run-off water, usually from parking lots, roofs or lawns. The plants will tolerate the extra moisture and slow the velocity of the water movement, thus reducing erosion and trapping pollutants. Rebecca added that they hope to use the garden for educational purposes as well.
The project is a collaborative effort of A.F.F.E.W. and West Shore Community College. A.F.F.E.W. stands for A Few Friends for the Environment of the World, and is a Ludington-based environmental group.
See raingardens.org for other examples of rain gardens
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