In May, residents of Eaton Township donated their time and supplies to help build a rain garden in Eaton Township Community Park on state Route 82.
The rain garden was made possible by a grant from the Ohio Environment Education Fund. In July 2008, Eaton Township’s Storm Water Management Committee member Charlotte Ruggles applied for the mini-grant.
The Eaton Township plan competed with 26 proposals throughout Ohio, and it was among the 13 proposals that were selected, Ruggles said. The township received $3,761 in grant funding.
The 600-square-foot rain garden will use runoff storm water from gutters on part of the pavilion roof to keep the plants thriving.
In addition to the grant, the project has received more than $1,900 in in-kind donations, as well as support from Rick Vincent, owner of Modern Landscaping and Design, Ohio Prairie Nursery and Lorain County Soil and Water Conservation District Administrator Nancy Funni.
“The ultimate goal of the rain garden is to educate the public on the various ways that we, as individuals, can help make a difference in the future of our environment,” Ruggles said. “The Great Lakes will sometime in the future be the key water source for the Midwest region of our country.”
The rain garden also will help remove impurities and pollutants in storm water by filtering the runoff before it enters the local waterways, Ruggles said.
Ruggles pointed out that every developed property has some type of impervious surface, such as roofs, driveways and patios.
“Just a small rain garden planted near one of these surfaces can capture, filter and slow the flow of storm water runoff,” she said.
Another bonus to creating a rain garden is that it enhances a yard and the entire community.
“It can even add value to our properties,” Ruggles said. “It is a wonderful way to provide habitat and food for wildlife, including birds and butterflies.”
Melodye Wallace, an Eaton resident for more than 20 years, said she has always been concerned about water quality and flooding.
“I think we need to keep our waterways clean to support a healthy lake, plant life and aquatic life, which many people do not have,” Wallace said.
Some of the plants used in the garden include Joe Pye weed, daylilies, bee balm, columbine, black-eyed Susan, gayfeather, threadleaf coreopsis, Culver’s root, northern blue flag and big blue stem.
“We are very excited to have the garden completed and on display. We welcome all visitors to the community park for a firsthand view,” Ruggles said.
Contact Melissa Linebrink at 329-7155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.