Inspired earlier this month by the conservation work of Chris Bayley out in Oregon, and his 12,000 rain garden campaign to improve water quality in Puget Sound, as discussed here, I finally committed to trying my hand at constructing a rain garden as my small contribution toward helping improve water quality to the Chesapeake Bay watershed. After a few sore muscles and a couple of Advil, and seven hours of labor, and for a grand total of $255.09 (including band-aids for a couple of pesky blisters), I’m pleased to report back on the project. The proof of success was in the final reveal and my wife’s comment, “wow – I really like it” – turned out even better than I expected. Hope others will be similar inspired for this year’s Earth Day, April 22.
One of the ideas behind creating this blog was to highlight some of the great conservation efforts underway across the Country and recognize the entrepreneurs and stewards behind those efforts, the unsung heroes of conservation. I was recently introduced to the work of Chris Bayley, Founder and Chair of Stewardship Partners, by a mutual friend, Michael Brown, Principal of Mead Brown. Check out Chris’s website – his work is dedicated to helping restore the Puget Sound, working with landowners and businesses to live more thoughtfully here on the earth, by reducing water pollution entering the Sound through storm water runoff, a growing problem in many areas as I’ve highlighted here and here due to impervious surfaces such as roads, driveways, parking lots, and roof drains.
I’m inspired by Chris’s 12,000 rain garden campaign and will soon break out the shovel and landscaping tools to construct my very own rain garden. Found a couple of great sites here and here with good background and design tips. As the best of intentions go, I’ve been meaning to give this a go for quite some time to help restore the stream ravaged by storm water pollution here in our Rockville, Maryland community, but the hustle and bustle of life have diverted my attention. Chris’s work has now given me that extra motivation. I will endeavor to chronicle my efforts on this blog, along with a status report and pictures, as my progress (or failure) materializes. If any readers have installed rain gardens of their own, and have tips or pictures they wish to share, please send them along and I will post them for all to enjoy and from which we can all learn.
(Btw, Michael and I served together at EPA, and he has one of the best gigs in the world, hanging out and entertaining guests in Costa Rica at his rental villa – if you want an awesome vacation, check out Michael on Facebook).