|Rain Garden at Luke Jenson Sports Park, Vancouver, WA|
(If you are not interested in rain garden info, just skip to the second half of this post.)
On Friday Chris, Hana and I attended a workshop on rain gardens. It was hosted by the Watershed Steward Program. It was a 6 hour program at the City's Water Resource Center.
Presenters included Maria Cahill of Green Girl Land Development Solutions, Dennis O'Conner of Habitat Concepts, and Ron Wieranga from Clark County Clean Water Program.
The workshop included a lot of info, a couple of sessions where we got to try our own design, and an outdoor look at a stormwater swale and future outdoor classroom currently being built.
I walked away with a beautiful poster illustrated by John C. Pitcher showing a rain garden planting and details of the plants used.
Whew - I have never included so many links in one post as I've done above. If you are interested in rain gardens follow one or more, they are all interesting sites. Any of those links will provide lots of information and resources. I actually found the poster on Google, but could not find copyright info, so I left a link.
What I've saved for last is an idea that was presented. I found it to be the most important thing I learned and it applies to more than rain gardens.
Maria Cahill was speaking about rain garden construction and I believe someone mentioned cost. She then drew a diagram with 3 interlinking circles and wrote "Sustainability" above them.
In each circle she wrote:
The space where the three merged is where we reach sustainability. Wow.
Here's my translation:
If the plan is not feasible for those that would use - it fails the social.
If the design uses cheap materials that are potentially toxic - it fails the environmental.
If it's green, but too expensive to be built or maintained - it fails the economic.
The design doesn't work unless these three factors have been considered and met.
The hard part: finding a group of professionals able to work together to find a viable solution.