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Earth Day 2003: Jefferson Lab's First Ever "Rain Garden"

Nine JLab staff members turned out to help plant the very first "Rain Garden" at Jefferson Lab. Located on the north side of the EEL building (#90), the area was prepared by tilling the soil, covering the area with plastic, then strategically placing the plants in and around the perimeter according to their affinity for water. Those plants that are more water loving were placed in the center while those that can stand not having as much water were placed on the outside. Examples of plants used in this rain garden include: Cardinal Flower, Lizards Tail, and Pickerel Weed.

What exactly is a "Rain Garden"? A rain garden is a strategically placed garden that is designed in such a way that "excess drainage from roofs, gutters and pavement is captured, eliminating soil erosion". This type of garden allows water to pond and percolate through the soil, entering the water cycle through "groundwater recharge". Plants receive nutrients from ponded storm water, which helps keep them healthy. Vegetation that is tolerant of flooding and drought help to capture the storm water, creating an attractive setting at the same time. Plants in rain gardens also help provide habitat for wildlife. An added plus is that the water quality and volume control is better than when it first enters the garden.

Thank you to all of the volunteers who helped make this year's Earth Day activity a great success!

Jennifer Williams
Linda Williams
Petra Radulovic
Hugh Williams
Betty Beeler
Carter Ficklen
Jennifer Allen
Linda Even
Ken Boyes

We'd like to say a special thank you to Robby with Village Greenery for his help and expertise in this endeavor. And a BIG thanks too to Facilities Management for working with us to make this happen!

Before the rain garden was planted
Before the rain garden was planted

After all of the groups hard work
After all of the groups hard work

The rain garden starting to bloom
The rain garden starting to bloom