Learn how to build a rain garden on April 5

Students, teachers, local volunteers and Arkansas Energy Corps members help plant native plants in the new rain garden at Holt Holt Middle School last week in Fayetteville.

Courtesy, IRWP

Interested in building a rain garden but don’t know for sure how to go about it?

Registration is now open for a “Rain Garden Academy” class hosted by the Beaver Water District and the Illinois River Watershed Partnership.

The class will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 5 at the Fayetteville Town Center, 15 W. Mountain St., in downtown Fayetteville.

Besides offering information on how to build a rain garden, the $25 cost ($15 for students) includes resource materials, a bus tour of area rain gardens, and lunch.

“We’re excited about offering this training,” said Amy Wilson, Director of Public Affairs for Beaver Water District. “We filled every seat on Nov. 10, the last time the event was held, and we expect to do the same this time around. What that tells us is that rain gardens are becoming very popular and that’s good news when it comes to water quality.”

Storm water is the number one pollutant in our nation’s waterways, said Becky Roark, IRWP Rain Garden Resource Specialist “In fact, building a rain garden is one of the easiest and most cost efficient ways to manage wet weather and reduce storm water pollution,” she said. “Rain gardens are better than standard lawns when it comes to absorbing runoff. According to the US EPA, rain gardens can absorb up to 80 percent of runoff.”

Pre-registration is required at irwp.org. The class is limited to 50 participants.

The workshop is designed for homeowners, commercial developers, gardeners, nursery owners, landscapers and personnel who work for city, state, and county government, parks departments and anyone who wants to know more about rain gardens or connect with others who want to build and maintain rain gardens in the area. Certificates of Completion will be administered to those who would like to submit the hours from the full day training course.

Individuals affiliated with public and quasi-public institutions that are interested in applying for the Rain Garden Project Mini-Grant are encouraged to attend.