In November and December, the urban agriculture class met and continued to make a lot of progress. Part of the day is in the classroom and the rest of the day is in front of the Clarkston Community Center as we apply what we are learning.
So…. what is going on? Well, right now, we are working to conserve rain water for our landscape plants. Below are some questions we have received and some brief answers. We are looking forward to the coming weeks when the mulch will go down and the plants will go in and the space will be closer to completion and transformed in time for Spring!
In the meantime, here some Q&A… (if you would like a pdf version of this Rain_Garden_Explanation_Q&A)
Q: Where is the water coming from?
A: From the rain! During a one inch rainfall, approximately 6,000 gallons of water run down the CCC building downspouts (CCC’s footprint is around 10,000ft2). Every inch of rain provides enough water to fill a cistern the size of a 13- passenger van. In one inch of rain, 622 gallons of water fall on every 1000ft2 area.
Q: How are we storing the water?
A: We are using two types of water catchment systems:
- “Infiltration Basins” are indentations in the ground where we direct roof runoff that infiltrates into the ground and becomes available for landscape plants and trees.
- Cisterns are tanks that collect water for watering plants or for other uses.
The basins around the CCC are connected to the downspouts that drain a 5,000ft2 section of roof. The basins will stop some water from running off the property into the storm drains and rivers, reducing the storm water runoff.
Q: What are we doing with the water we catch?
A: Using these methods, we are sinking water deep into the ground and far enough away from the building to protect the foundation. The water will fill up each basin in the ground, then overflow to the next basin (see picture). Once they are all full, the remaining water is then sent to the city’s storm drains.
Q: How does this help the landscape plants?
A: This extra moisture in the soil will be available to the plants and trees for extended periods (weeks and months) after the rains. Once established the plants will be drought resistant. Also, we have installed a 500 gallon cistern for supplemental watering during while the plants are getting established.
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