Rain Gardens and Rain Barrels Workshop 2-18-12
Low Impact Development Workshop
By Jim Borland, Master Gardener
Here's a scholarly expression I bet you never thought you'd hear in a discussion about gardening: "Low Impact Development Practices." Abbreviated as "LID," the concept covers things like site planning, land use, hydrology, and erosion & sediment control.
In a nutshell, LID includes an innovative approach to stormwater management that goes against the current practice of stormwater disposal, where runoff is conveyed to costly water treatment facilities or rushes into local creeks. Instead, water is detained close to its source using small, cost-effective landscape features to implement infiltration, storage and evaporation. This principle models the way nature managed rainfall at its source before urban development covered up all the soil and caused this thing called "runoff."
Want to learn more about this absorbing topic (pun intended)? Join the UC Master Gardeners at their monthly Advice To Grow By Workshop this coming Saturday, February 18th, 10:00 am to noon, for an engaging lecture and demonstration of the LID features incorporated into their Demonstration Garden. The garden is located at 2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo, behind the county building at the corner of Johnson and Bishop.
At this workshop, Master Gardeners will present an overview of LID stormwater practices and principles and will discuss topics such as downspout disconnects, rail barrels, soils & plant materials, cisterns, rain gardens, and retention basins. You also will be able to inspect the LID features installed in the garden which includes a large retention basin that absorbs water to prevent runoff, a rain garden with specially engineered soil and plants designed to allow water to soak in, and a "cistern" which is a rain barrel that stores water fed to it via rain gutters.
Also, Master Gardeners will dig a hole, add water, and teach you how to do a percolation test that measures the movement of water through the soil in order to determine its suitability for LID techniques.
Among the many benefits of keeping stormwater on your property is the reduction of your water bill when you use captured water for yard irrigation. By limiting stormwater runoff from our property we reduce the amount of pollution that reaches waterways, and we help recharge our groundwater aquifers. These methods also can add aesthetic interest to your yard.
Attending this workshop will open your eyes to many environmental issues that you may never before have thought about.
See you on Saturday, and be sure to dress for the possibility of unpredictable weather. In the case of rain, this workshop will be held indoors.
CLICK below on the attached files to find the Brochure and Plant List