NORTH DELTA SECONDARY’S RAIN GARDEN By: Bhavjot Kang and Brandon Johnson WHY A RAIN GARDEN? Whenever it rains, runoff water containing toxins, road salt, grit, excess fertilizers, pesticides, cigarette butts, plastic and paper enter our local streams The polluted water harms fish health and is bad for the local ecosystem HOW DOES A RAIN GARDEN SOLVE THIS PROBLEM? A rain garden naturally absorbs and filters runoff water, instead of allowing it to flow into local streams. This is accomplished by redirecting the runoff water. In our case, we placed baffles around a parking lot storm drain and cut slits in the curb. OTHER BENEFITS OF A RAIN GARDEN: IT’S A SIMPLE SOLUTION TO POLLUTION! Our rain garden will filter hundreds of thousands of liters of runoff water yearly Our rain garden creates a small ecosystem at our school for insects and birds The garden also filter air pollutants It looks amazing We wanted to have visible results to show our student body GETTING STARTED We applied and received a $2000 dollar grant from the Nature Trust of BC We had to choose a suitable spot, then measure the apprx amount of runoff in our parking lot We had to get Administrative and Municipal permission Then we designed the rain garden and chose suitable plants (then went plant shopping) PLANTING THE GARDEN We decided to plant the garden over spring break We had over 20+ volunteers come out to help It was a coordinated effort, with the City of Delta doing the Ground work and heavy lifting, and ND students doing the rest It took 4 days over spring break, with countless hours spent by everybody to make the rain garden a success. Each day we put in around 8 hours of work We had people from the community stop by and ask about our work, and some actually brought drinks for our work crew! PLANTING THE GARDEN: MONDAY The first day the City of Delta did all the ground work and excavating for our garden It was a huge help, as they were able to bring out the Backhoe, and did all the work for free PLANTING THE GARDEN: TUESDAY Members of ND’s Energy Ambassadors came out to help along many others Our job was picking rocks out of the piles of excavated dirt. The district did not want large rocks sitting around that could be used as projectiles. PLANTING THE GARDEN: WEDNESDAY About 20 students came out to help with the work We had to put the excavated dirt back into the rain garden, and then add and spread fertilizer. It was physical work, as we moved the dirt around with shovels, a single wheel barrow and rakes! PLANTING THE GARDEN: THURSDAY The weather was nicer, and again we had around 20 volunteers. Many came and went through out the day We had to finish off shaping our garden Around 2 in the afternoon we finally got to plant! Some of the plants include: PLANTING THE GARDEN: THURSDAY PLANTING THE GARDEN: THURSDAY THE TEAM Sadly, many volunteers had already gone home when the photos were taken THE COMPLETED GARDEN BEFORE AND AFTER ITS AN ON-GOING PROJECT We are continuously working to improve our garden We plan on adding logs to slow the water down and give the water more time to soak into the soil We do maintenance weekly to make sure the garden is litter free, and that the curb slits are open We want to add more plants, as the rain garden is bigger than we initially intended The initial curb slits are not big enough, and need to be cut larger The greatest part about the garden is with only a small amount of maintenance and care it will be SPREADING THE WORD We want to add a sign that summarizes the environmental benefits of a rain garden We need to fundraise money for the sign We have done a presentation to the teachers and our student body We continue to get and answer questions at school about the garden We have done presentations at two community events. One at a salmon release at watershed park were we set up a booth, and one at Delta’s first earth day were we did a 7 minute speech about our project THE COUGAR CREEK STREAMKEEPERS The Cougar Creek Streamkeepers, and in particular Deborah Jones were a key part of this projects success Deborah helped us throughout the project, and has prior experience with rain gardens. She was the perfect teacher.