Noticing a bit of hub-bub about rain gardens? The Venango Conservation District has been working to get the word out about rain gardens with news articles, mailings and educational events. The district has been awarded funding to build rain gardens for educational showcases and most recently to build rain gardens for property owners in the Lower Two Mile Run Watershed (Cranberry/Seneca area). Why you may ask?
To reduce nonpoint source pollution.
Nonpoint source water pollution is pollution that comes from many different sources, even your back yard. Stormwater runs off impervious surfaces of your property (rooftops, paved driveways, sidewalks etc.). That stormwater run-off causes nonpoint source pollution by adding a large amount of stormwater entering your neighborhood waterway and causing erosion. That stormwater also picks up contaminates on its way to the stream, and so causes additional pollution problems.
What is a rain garden?
Rather than a traditional raised garden bed, a rain garden is a sunken garden. A ponding area is created and layers of gravel, sand, and a soil/sand mix are added. Then native perennials are. The garden will collect stormwater to allow it to infiltrate rather than run off. Compared to a patch of lawn, a rain garden allows about 30% more rain water to filter into the ground.
What are the benefits of a rain garden?
Environmental – a rain garden reduces nonpoint source pollution by collecting stormwater, filtering it and allowing it to infiltrate or evaporate. Rain gardens provide food and cover for wildlife.
Maintenance – rain gardens reduce lawn area that needs to be maintenanced. Rain gardens themselves are easy and inexpensive to maintain. A rain garden reduces flooding and drainage problems.
The Venango Conservation District is partnering with the Oil Creek State Park to host an educational event for children. "Learning to Fish with Mom or Dad" will be held on Saturday June 20th at 9:30am at Two Mile Run County Park. Learn everything you need to know to start catching fish! All gear & bait will be provided, no licesnse needed. Dress for the weather. You may want to bring drinks, snacks, and bug spray. REGISTRATION REQUIRED, Call Oil Creek State Park at 814-676-5915 to register! Meet at the Boat Ramp.
See the OCSP post for more information https://www.facebook.com/events/656798317787199/
A grazing field day and tour will be held at the Wagner Therapeutic Riding Center, Venango Area Riding for the Handicapped Association (VARHA) facility near Polk, PA on Monday June 22, 2015. VARHA provides therapeutic horseback riding for children, adolescents, and adults with special needs.
The field day will focus on the details of an installed grazing system for horses that has allowed better pasture management. The program will run from 10:15am until 2:30pm and features sessions on forage selection and management, grazing management, fencing, watering facilities and manure and nutrient management.
Scott Rushe, Agronomist with Seedway, will discuss forage management considerations. Becky Deeter, Venango Conservation District Agricultural Resource Technician will talk about various manure and nutrient management issues that horse owners should know about. Grazing management and how to create a grazing plan will be reviewed by the area NRCS Grazing Specialist. Lunch will be provided. A pasture walk, to allow a hands on review of the day’s topics will round out the day. For driving directions load VARHA, Wagner Equine Therapeutic Center, 150 Wagner Drive, Franklin PA 16323. For further information visit www.varhacenter.org.
Submitted by M Muir.