Following the recent rain garden consultation from Stewardship Partners at WA Field Manager Brice Boland’s house, new developments have taken shape. Getting word about the consultation, the Washington State University extension in need of a training location for a design and installation site reached out and had a recent workday back at Brice’s home. Approximately thirty people attended the class, homing their knowledge and skills The day consisted of measuring soil percolation, identifying locations of pipes, and designing the plans for the garden for the next step in establishing an ocean friendly garden.

After spending the morning in the classroom learning a bit of the basics of plants and requirements the class headed to the site to get some hands on learning. A soil percolation test was conducted indicating great soil to absorb water. However, the site is in the Asarco smelter range forcing a need for the city to measure the level of arsenic in the lawn in order to determine if it is safe for volunteers to operate in, test pending. If it comes back with a low reading the site should be free to continue with an installation.

Brice Rain Garden send workshop 1

Following the site visit, everyone returned back to the classroom for a hands on learning process and to identify plants. Factors such as sunlight, soil type, piping, and root structures were in play, guiding the plant selection. Teams broke out into six groups to determine what each group thought would be the best type of plants as well as what Brice and his wife were interested in featuring. One of the surprises was that there was major overlap in the decisions on what type of plants to use leading to a comprehensive outlook in future of the garden.

Rain Garden 2

The garden is slated for installation on June 6th and all are expected back to lend a hand. Additionally, the South Sound chapter is invited and will be taking part in the learning and hands on digging to make this garden a reality. If you are interested in attending, learning, and/or getting your hands dirty, please contact Brice for more information.