For the first time, Clermont SWCD will be hosting the Greater Cincinnati Master Rain Gardener Course. This is a 5-day course that takes place over six weeks from August 4 to September 8. During the course, students are guided through the rain garden design and installation process by experienced regional professionals. At graduation, students will have created a beautiful rain garden and will be ready to educate their neighbors.
9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
August 4, 11, 18, 25 and September 8
$50 registration fee
Location: Clermont County Park District, 2156 US Highway 50, Batavia OH 45103
For additional information, registration, and to see a list of rotating host locations, visit www.cincyraingardener.org.
Home owners, business owners, and commercial property managers interested in storm water management practices can check out a rain garden at Bite Restaurant, 1279 State Route 131, Milford. Volunteers built the demonstration project on a beautiful Friday morning in June.
Rain gardens use native plants to manage storm water runoff, said Kat Zelak, Education Coordinator, Clermont Soil & Water Conservation District. They help water soak into soil faster, important because of the high clay content here.
“Having storm water more quickly infiltrate the soil through the garden instead of running into streams and rivers allows pollutants to be removed in a natural way,” Zelak said.
Like the garden at Bite Restaurant, most sit at the end of downspouts. Others are located at the end of driveways, in low spots in yards or where the biggest need exists.
“They came to me, and I thought it was a great idea,” said Rachel Seeberger, who owns the restaurant with her husband Marc. Bite grows organic vegetables, herbs, fruits, and nuts on its two-acre property. Seeberger noted that she teaches classes on gardening and sustainability to garden clubs and schools. She welcomes having a visual to show how a rain garden works.
Zelak said the rain garden includes strawberries, blue flag iris, yarrow, ashy sunflower, New England aster, bee balm and purple cone flower.
Volunteers from Soil & Water, the Clermont County Office of Environmental Quality and Natural Resources Conservation Service helped plant the garden.
Once again, it’s been a long, cold winter, but spring is approaching and thoughts are turning to gardening. If you are planning some new landscaping around the house this year, you may want to consider a rain garden, which can be an attractive feature that also helps manage storm water runoff.
Rain gardens look like any other flower garden, but they are built in a shallow depression that is designed to collect rain water and slowly filter it into the ground over a period of a day or two. A typical rain garden planted with native wildflowers, shrubs or trees can soak up to 30% more water than a conventional lawn. Rain gardens also help to remove pollutants in storm water that are picked up from our lawns, rooftops, driveways and parking lots. In addition to the water quality benefits, rain gardens providing important habitat and food sources for birds, butterflies, and other wildlife.
Anyone can build a rain garden on their own. Creating one requires nothing more high tech than a shovel. To aid landowners in their quest to build their own garden, we have collaborated with local organizations to create the Greater Cincinnati Master Rain Gardener Course. The first session is already full, but you can add your name to the waitlist for future classes at www.cincyraingardener.org or join the Facebook group Greater Cincinnati Master Rain Gardeners for great ideas from fellow gardeners. Plenty of tips are also available on our web site at www.clermontswcd.org/rain-gardens-barrels/. And if you run in to problems – don’t give up. Just give us a call or shoot us an email and we’ll help you through it.