Girl Scouts Install Rain Garden to Improve Water Quality
By Patricia Roy
What better way to way to wrap up a summer long on heat and short on rainfall than by constructing a rain garden?
For their Silver Award project Girl Scout Troop 76017 teamed up with Weston Nurseries and the Ashland Department of Public Works to create the garden at the Henry Warren School using native plants.
The Silver Award, the second highest in Girl Scouting, is given to Cadettes who are in sixth, seventh and eighth grade. Their mission is to research an issue, make a plan to address it and put that plan into action to help their community. The project falls right in line with the town’s storm water initiative.
The girls learned which plants to use by taking tips from a visit to the rain garden at Ashland Town Forest.
The Henry Warren School garden was constructed on a small downward slope and is designed to collect rainwater runoff from roofs, lawn or driveway. A major rainfall that collects in the garden may take up to 48 hours to clear away.
The advantages of a rain garden, the girls learned, is that is aids water quality by filtering out pollutants, preserves native vegetation, provides localized storm water and flood control and attracts beneficial butterflies, insects and birds.
The garden requires very little maintenance once it’s established because its plants are native. Another benefit is its relatively small size – there’s no need for a sprawling plot.
Weston Nurseries assisted in choosing the best plants and the DPW did the digging for the new garden.