Installed rain garden, Chicago, IL. (Photo: RainGardenNetwork.com)
Updated June 12, 2007, 11:53 a.m.
Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)— With environmental concerns sweeping the nation, the Environment Conservation Commission of Park Forest doesn’t want to be left behind. On Friday, June 30th, there will be a demonstration of an economically friendly and water conserving method referred to as rain gardens.
Rain gardens are simple yet effective. They are simply a ditch, similar to a very small pond, dug below and around water drains, roofs, sidewalks and driveways with water loving plants growing in them. The soil and roots soak up the water, keeping the water from flowing off one’s property to the sewers. This prevents the over crowding of storm sewers and storm water pollution. Rain gardens help eliminate flooding and the cost of waste water.
Dave Bartlett, a member of the Environment Conservation Commission, is an advocate for these rain gardens. He points out how they are popping up in Moline, Rock Island, and Chicago.
“We would like to see Park Forest become a leader in conserving water and fixing problems associated with heavy rain”, says Bartlett. He said the Park Forest Village Board is very concerned with water conservation and was first made aware of rain gardens in the fall of 2006 by the Rain Garden Network.
Another increasingly common method of water conservation is water barrels. According to Bartlett, rain gardens and barrels go hand in hand.
Rain barrels are barrels that collect rain water with a screen top to prevent debris and bugs from getting in. A sprig on the bottom allows the rain water to drain into gardens. This device is ideal for plants health and also helps save water that would otherwise come from a hose.
The environmental committee is hoping the upcoming demonstration will catch on throughout Park Forest. Various clubs and groups are encouraged to volunteer. Bartlett hopes to see Sierra Club, church members, and gardeners as well.
With the recent focus on global warming and environmental crises, devices such as rain gardens and barrels are extremely helpful.
“Civilizations in the past have collapsed because they didn’t take proper care of the environment”, offers Bartlett, “every little bit helps”.
The installation of the demonstration rain garden will be at the Tennis Club on June 30 at 10 a.m. The demonstration garden is sponsored by the Environment Conservation Commission The commission is seeking volunteers to help with the event.