Rain Garden Program - 2010 ActivitiesIn 2010 the MOA Rain Garden Program worked with residents, schools, and localbusiness partners in the public and private sectors to support the construction of overthirty new rain gardens in the municipality! For the last three years the program hasconsistently doubled its participant involvement and rain garden incentive distributioneach year. The program supported seven rain gardens in 2008, fifteen in 2009, andthirty-one in 2010, for a grand total of fifty-three rain gardens incentivized. The RainGarden Program has been offering incentives supported by grant funding from the USFish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) beginning in 2007. This year WMS won a grant fromUSFWS to extend the incentive program to support all types of vegetated Low ImpactDevelopment (LID) applications through November of 2012. Of the thirty-one rain gardens constructed this year, there were six rain gardenswith a high level of community interest and involvement. Two rain gardens wereconstructed in partnership with local middle and high schools. Two more gardens wereconstructed as demonstration rain gardens in partnership with the Anchorage ParksFoundation Youth Employment in The Parks program at the local senior center and thepopular Westchester Lagoon Park. Finally, two more rain gardens were incorporatedinto municipal pedestrian and park improvement projects at Jewel Lake Park andBlueberry Road.Photos: Left, Dimond High School, testing soil saturation rate. Middle, YEP, WestchesterLagoon pre-construction lecture. Right, Gruening Middle School, checking depth ofexcavation.
Education: This year the Rain Garden Program participated in a number of organizedpresentation series, summer fairs, and school classroom activities. By attending avariety of events we were able to reach a wide section of the community. In schools theRain Garden Program presented at the Dimond High School Science Career Fair,Gruening Middle School National Junior Honor’s Society Meeting, Mear’s MiddleSchool Science Classes, Alaska Pacific University (APU) Sustainability Council and APUWatershed Management Course. During the summer the Rain Garden Program offereda seminar at the Alaska Botanical Garden’s Fair and the Houston Middle School GardenSymposium. We had a table at the local Creek Clean-Up Day, Alaska Department ofFish and Game Fish Fry Release Educational Event, and at the Spenard Farmer’s Market,Ask an Expert Booth. For organized training and educational seminars we presented atthe Senior Center Monthly Staff Meeting, the OLE! Hydrology Course Series,Opportunities for Lifelong Education, the engineering firm USKH organized LowImpact Development Design Guidance training, the Library Summer Seminar WaterYour Mind, stormwater education presentation with information on native and invasiveplants, and lastly, the Youth Employment in the Parks, Westchester Lagoon, Pre-Construction Rain Garden Presentation (middle photo above). We also hosted an in-house training for local contractors and landscaping businesses in the spring.Site inspections: These are one way the Rain Garden Program verifies the awardedincentive goes toward a well designed rain garden or LID feature. The bar graph belowillustrates the distribution of site inspections completed during 2010 and groups them bycolor based on when they were performed during the building process. Site Inspections per Month in 2010 14 12 Inspections 10 Pre-Build 8 Mid-Build 6 4 Post-Build 2 0 ne r ly il er t ay be us pr Ju ob Ju M A m ug ct te A O ep S
Website: The AnchorageRainGardens.com website has been a valuable tool forcommunicating events and furthering education to the public. This year there were anumber of instructional pages added to the website under the Demonstration RainGardens section. Participants have commented that these printable illustrated raingarden construction examples are the best resource they used during the project. Inaddition to the handouts we have added a Google map to the News and Events page.This map shows visitors the exact location of all demonstration rain gardens in theMOA. If visitors are interested in touring a couple rain gardens to see what they looklike they can use this map to locate all the rain gardens on public property. Website Usage for 2010In-Kind Contributions: This year alone the municipal projects that included raingardens and rain garden home owners have more than matched the amount ofincentives the Rain Garden Program has been able to award. Rain Garden Owners MOA Incentives In-Kind Hours Contributions Awarded of LaborTOTALS: $163,601.07 $17,624.73 1048Municipal Project Contributions $145,747.42 $5,982.50 73School Match via Donations $764.50 $173.09 160Home Owners Contributions $9,103.10 $6,969.14 795Non-Profit Organizations $7,986.05 $4,500.00 20
Photos: The following page contains pictures of seven rain gardens constructed in theMOA this year. From left to right and top to bottom the rain garden pictures are:1. MOA Blueberry Road Pedestrian Improvement, curb cuts direct runoff from thesidewalk into the rain garden.2. Private Residential Rain Garden, incentivized by the Rain Garden Program, garden isfilling with runoff collected from the roof gutter system at the time the picture wastaken.3. MOA Senior Center, Gardens Coordinator and MOA Rain Garden ProgramCoordinator sitting just inside the edge of the new public Senior Center rain garden.4. Dimond High School, AP Environmental Science class standing behind their newpublic rain garden.5. MOA Jewel Lake Park public rain garden.6. Exemplary Private Residential Rain Garden7. Gruening Middle School, National Junior Honor’s Society club members exploring theextent of their excavation job before they filled materials into their new public raingarden.
Rain Gardens in the MOA! 2010 Construction See photo captions on previous page.