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Rain Garden Tour de Bellingham

posted May 15, 2013, 8:51 AM by Cathy Craver

Rain Garden Tour de Bellingham

Saturday, June 1, 2013  9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.


The Rain Garden Tour de Bellingham will showcase a variety of local rain gardens, showing homeowners a new way to help prevent stormwater pollution in their yards. Participants will board a bus with local rain garden experts and begin a tour of rain gardens around Lake Whatcom and throughout Bellingham.


Rain gardens are shallow depressions filled with plants that allow stormwater to be captured and absorbed.  Rain gardens function like native forests to filter polluted runoff, and help reduce flooding. When planted with the right types of plants, rain gardens also attract birds, butterflies and bees. 


“A well designed rain garden absorbs the first half inch of rain during a rain event,” says Lee First, RE Sources’ Pollution Prevention Specialist. "That first flush of rain contains the most amount of pollution. Incorporating a rain garden into your landscape is one way you can reduce the amount of stormwater that flows from your property helping to keep contaminants out of our waterways."


While rain gardens are fantastic at removing many troublesome pollutants, improperly installed rain gardens can add to water quality problems when located in sensitive watersheds like Lake Whatcom and Lake Samish,” said Eli Mackiewicz, Stormwater Engineering Technician at the City of Bellingham. "The tour will focus on the special considerations that are taken when designing and installing rain gardens for nutrient-sensitive watersheds.”


Rain garden and stormwater experts from local organizations are collaborating to bring homeowners this comprehensive guided tour, including RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, Sustainable Connections, the City of Bellingham, and WSU Whatcom County Extension. The tour cost is $20 to cover the cost of transportation and lunch. Register at http://raingardentour.brownpapertickets.com to reserve your space and find out where to meet the bus.


Lee First, Pollution Prevention Specialist
RE Sources for Sustainable Communities