On Saturday September 9, 2017 – 47 people joined the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership
(SGP) and partners, Columbia County Conservation District and Penn State Extension Master Gardeners of Columbia County, for a unique workshop focused on rain gardens. During this workshop, participants got an in-depth look at rain gardens and their benefits, as well as gained a valuable, hands on opportunity to construct a rain garden on-site.

“Rain gardens allow water to be absorbed into the ground within a day or two, therein lessening the flow of water and pollutants into our Rivers,” says SGP River Town Program Coordinator Trish Carothers.“Well-designed rain gardens are visually appealing, can provide habitat for pollinators, and because the water does not remain for long periods of time, mosquitos are unable to breed in them.”

Participants began the day in the classroom learning about the design and benefits of a rain garden, including how they positively impact regional resources such as the Susquehanna River. Participants also gained insight into the different types of rain gardens, as well as different plants and of locations for rain gardens. After lunch, participants were able to put their new knowledge to work installing a rain garden at Kocher Park.

“Rain gardens make a small, but important impact on our local waterways, including the Susquehanna River,” notes SGP Executive Director Gail Kulp. “We were so happy to be able to offer this workshop along with our partners to help educate the public about rain gardens and install one right in an SGP River Town.”

Thankfully maintenance for the newly planted rain garden at Kocher Park is minimal due to its design. The rain garden will continue to capture run-off and filter it through the garden for the remainder of its lifetime. At this time, there is also the likelihood that an expansion could be a possibility as time goes on.

This project was made possible through a Bella Garzia Grant awarded by the Luzerne County Foundation, as well as grants from the Chesapeake Bay Commission and Foundation for the Pennsylvania Watersheds.  A special thanks goes to all those who participated and made this project a success.