FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 20, 2004 For further information, contact: Patricia Pennell or Gains Spohn, West Michigan Environmental Action Council (616) 451-3051; Martha Cox, Grand Rapids Community College Service Learning Center, (616) 234-4162, 234-4168; Cortland Overmeyer, City of Grand Rapids Environmental Protection Services, (616) 456-3625
Rain Gardens of West Michigan and Service Learning Center Advisory Board plant a second Rain Garden at Grand Rapids Community College
Grand Rapids ? October 20, 2004. Rain Gardens of West Michigan, a program of West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC), will plant a rain garden at the Grand Rapids Community College pedestrian mall, across from the Main building, from 11:30 till 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 20, 2004. This is a project of the GRCC the Service Learning Center Board, a student group with the Service Learning Center. This is the second rain garden that the SLAB students have planted on the campus. They are passionate about community service work, and helping to make Grand Rapids a greener city with healthy landscapes and cleaner water.
Rain Gardens of West Michigan, West Michigan Environmental Action Council?s newest water quality program, is a partnership storm water education project with the City of Grand Rapids. Pollutants from storm water enter the storm drains adding heavy metals, sediment and salts that impair the natural ecosystem and human health. Some benefits of rain gardens are filtering and recharging the runoff back into the groundwater. The plants provide habitat for many beautiful butterfly and hummingbird species.
Rain gardens are attractive low maintenance native plant perennial gardens. Once established, they require no fertilizer, watering, or mowing. A once a year cleanup, addition of shredded hardwood mulch to keep the surface moist and tidy, and removal of weeds and invasive species are all that are required.
"This rain garden will be a nice enhancement to the Community College campus, and will help keep stormwater out of the storm sewers that ends up entering the Grand River, carrying pollution with it. We are delighted that Grand Rapids Community College is promoting this kind of healthy, environmentally sound landscaping, and that the students are so interested in participating in rain garden projects in the city,? said Corky Overmeyer, head of Environmental Protective Services, City of Grand Rapids.
Rebecca Shilt, of RiverMaid design, donated a free landscape plan for this project. The first GRCC-SLAB rain garden is still in bloom in October, on Fountain Street at the end of the pedestrian mall. "I love working with the Rain Garden project because the scope and ambitions of the project dovetail with my own desire to heal the land and to create clean water through environmental gardening,? said Rebecca. ?Native plantings work the best because of their long history of adaptation to the land; thereby creating a water-wise, pesticide-free bioscape that nourishes native birds, butterflies, and animals - including us! It is very satisfying to show how beautiful and creative gardens can be designed and enjoyed using Michigan native plantings.?
You can learn more about rain gardens at the project website, www.raingardens.org <http://www.raingardens.org/> .
# # #
Rain Gardens of West Michigan
West Michigan Environmental Action Council
1514 Wealthy SE Suite 280
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506