The west basin of Lake Erie has been seriously impacted by rain water runoff which carries contaminants and phosphorous which in turn fuels large blooms of toxic algae. To mitigate this a simple green infrastructure project, to be designed and tested is the installation of rain gardens. Rain gardens are constructed around drains and catch basins to collect rainwater before it goes into the subsurface system. The rain gardens will have native plants chosen for their ability to filter contaminants and having high uptakes for phosphorous. The first flush of rain is often the most contaminated so even small rain events can be detrimental to water quality and with a rain garden should greatly reduce that water from ever reaching the storm drains.
Our rain garden project is supporting the work that the Essex Region Conservation Authority does and will be constructed as a pilot project in the Town of Harrow, at the arena adjacent the Harrow High School where stormwater from the municipal parking lots and fields goes directly to the west basin of Lake Erie. We are calling out for anyone interested in volunteering for the site prep work and planting.
For more information on blue green algae, attached is a fact sheet. The rain garden project will also include the production of a ‘how to’ manual as well as a youtube video later in 2013
Attached is a tentative time line for the project. For more details contact Jesse, Phil or Chitra Gowda at ERCA (519) 776-5209 ext 342
|Pre-garden preparation (garden design, species selection)||March 30, 2013|
|Site preparation (outreach, procure materials, digging, etc.)||April 30, 2013|
|Planting||May 30, 2013|
|Follow up site visit||August 31, 2013|
|Evaluation and assessment||October 31, 2013|
|Manual, youtube video||December 31, 2013|
|Report to MOE||February 1, 2014|