Article courtesy of Fosters.com | February 2, 2014 | Shared as educational material
SPRINGWVALE, Maine — Southern Maine Garden Club (SMGC) met on Wednesday, Jan. 15, at the Springvale Library for a lecture on water conservation entitled “Don’t get washed away”.
Missy Brant from York County Conservation District presented a fantastic program teaching club members how to protect our environment especially our waterways. The next time we have to vote on a bill we will all be more informed of why a project is looking for funding and if it is a sound plan.
Members discussed whether or not they had yards and gardens that collected water after a storm and whether or not it was completely absorbed in 24 hours Missy advised that we may want to think about planting blueberries and other native plants. Planting native plants in the areas where water accumulates is often the best route to take. Native plants are stronger because of natural predators to fight bugs, are acclimated to our weather and soil types, prevent overgrowth which can lead to mold, mildew and fungi than plants imported from other areas. The blueberry and other native plants’ root systems absorb the extra water, the fruit is produced for humans and animals, and our soil isn’t washed away — it’s a win/win situation. To find out more about planting a rain garden, we were invited to go to www.raingardennetwork.com.
One important pocketbook issue is the importance of rain barrels. It is very costly to filter all the runoff at our treatment facilities. To meet this added cost many communities are looking into calculating the runoff caused by non-absorbing areas on individual properties that do not protect against soil erosion These include, but are not limited to, roofs, driveways, patios. She advised we should think about saving ourselves money and invest in rain barrels. The goal of water conservation efforts is often to slow the flow.
You can do this by planting, designing meandering walkways through wooded trail and waterways, use gutters, mow higher, even leave the leaves just to name a few. When doing your part a rule to follow is the steeper the slope the wider the buffer area. Another tool that will help in collecting rainwater and redirecting it to flow into a needed spot is a Japanese inspired rain chain (see attached photo) that replaces a roof’s downspout.
SMGC meets throughout the year at the Springvale Library on the third Wednesday of every month beginning at 6:45 PM (unless otherwise noted). The public is invited to attend to sample our meetings to see if you would like to join us.
The next scheduled meeting on the third Wednesday of the month will be on Feb. 19 and it will be a Pot Luck dinner where the members will discuss future workshops, plan committee work assignments, discuss our June plant sale, membership teas and Green Thumb Awards night. It will take place at the Springvale Library at 443 Main St., Springvale, Maine; at 6:45 p.m. and all are invited. FMI about future meetings, please contact in Maine — Mary Stewart-Dore at (207) 490-1833 or in NH — Donna Claveau at (603) 332-4860.