>Rain Garden Update – 2/25/10

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Illahee Preserve Rain Garden Prep Continues.  We are preparing the the rain garden plots at the Illahee Preserve parking lot on Almira for a planting session on March 6th.  The interior paths between the plots were completed on Thursday, Feb 25th.  We are doing finish grading of the plots with hoes and rakes.  Thanks to Jenny Morgan, our volunteer landscape architect, for her layout of a meandering low point through the plots which we laid out on Thursday and we think it really looks great.  Thanks to Aimee Weber, our volunteer botanist,  for flagging native plants that are emerging from the plots and that can be used and for locating areas where plants can be salvaged from the Preserve.  We planted some extracted rushes, sword ferns and an Oregon grape, and it appears that obtaining them will be reasonably easy, but time consuming. 

Landscape Rocks Needed.  There are some areas in the outer plots where some larger landscape rock would be helpful.  Let us know if you have any suggestions where we could get some.

Conservation District Plant Pick-Up on March 5th.  We are planning on picking up the plants ordered from the Conservation District early in the afternoon on Friday, March 5th.  After we see the size of the plants (all bare root) we will probably flag some of the plots so it will be easy for planters to know where the specific species go.  Also, we are presuming a mortality rate on the plants of roughly 25% so that will also be taken into account with our flagging.

Rain Garden Planting on March 6th.  Beginning at 9 am on Saturday morning we will finish grade the plots that still need it, and then start planting.  From what we found out today, the layouts on paper are nice to have as a starting point, but things can change quickly once you see the plants and start planting.  This is where the artistic talented persons are helpful.

Phase II Planning Session Week of March 7th.  The Conservation District did not have all the plants we wanted so we will be augmenting what we ordered with another order after we see where we are at.  This will be primarily true with the example species plot which is between the pavement and the detention pond.  We will have a planning session sometime the week of March 7-12 to determine what is needed to finish planting the plots, and also what to use for a mulch.

Signage Later.  The signs that will describe rain gardens and how to build them will be similar to those used by the Clear Creek Trail Task Force.  They will be designed, ordered and installed later.

Thank You Volunteers.  We are appreciative of all that have volunteered so far.  We think this project will complete quickly with the time consuming aspect being extracting plants from the Preserve.  But with the numbers of people helping it should complete well before noon.

Questions?  If you have any questions please give me a call at 479-1049 or Aimee Weber at 405-1613.

Jim Aho