Get hands-on experience and learn about rain gardens, storm water management, and creative landscaping with salvaged materials.
Saturday, November 12th
8:30 - 9:00 A.m. Sign-in
9:00 - 9:30 a.m. breakfast
9:30 -11:00 a.m. planting party
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. rain garden talk
at the ReBuilding Center
3625 N Mississippi Ave
Come support the ReBuilding Center and learn about stormwater management! Blossom Earthworks and the ReBuilding Center will be hosting a volunteer work-party to help the ReBuilding Center restore its stormwater planters. The two planters line the front of the building and are designed to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff from the building by teaming up with thirsty, water-loving plants
Breakfast will be held in the parking lot and the talk will be held inside the administrative offices (look for the red brick building and red door) at the ReBuilding Center at:
3625 N Mississippi Ave Portland, OR.
We will be supplying food/beverage from Verde Cocina.
Read the following article by Mike Conover, Ecological Designer at Blossom Earthworks:
It’s no secret that Portland and the Pacific Northwest gets a lot of rain. However, most buildings, parking lots, roads, and other impermeable surfaces prevent much of this rainwater from infiltrating into the ground. Instead, it often flows into the sewer or Portland's rivers and streams. As it flows it picks up oils, heavy metals, sediment, and other contaminants along with it. This can disrupt local ecosystems, cause water quality issues, and place unnecessary burdens on wastewater treatment plants.
The good news is there are a number of ways to reduce stormwater runoff, filter it, and allow it to infiltrate into the ground, recharging our groundwater. Some of the systems that do this work include stormwater planters, bioswales, Green Streets, and infiltration basins, among others. Portland has put a lot of effort toward managing its stormwater, so you may have seen them around the city without even realizing it.
In 2005, the ReBuilding Center completed an onsite stormwater management demonstration project, designed to treat and infiltrate 870,000 gallons of rainwater each year. Five stormwater planters and a permeable parking lot capture and filter this water, sending it straight into the ground instead of the storm-drains or sewer.
Plants, and especially wetland plants, not only drink lots of water but they clean it too. It’s easy to overlook wetlands because they are less noticeable compared to dramatic landscapes like mountains or canyons but wetlands are essential to functional ecosystems and watershed health. Wetlands are often described as the “kidneys of the planet” for the work they do filtering and cleaning the Earth’s water. By using wetland plants native to Oregon and the Pacific Northwest in our stormwater management facilities, we can clean stormwater while providing habitat and food for local wildlife at the same time. Many of the grasses, sedges, and rushes you see lining the street or in planters and swales are doing just this. There are even beautiful flowers such as iris, camas and milkweeds that thrive in stormwater plantings.
It’s easy to think of the city and “nature” as different places. In reality there is no separation.
That alley near your house, the big office building, and the vacant lot are just as much nature as the forests, lakes, and mountains that surround us. We are part of a larger ecosystem that feeds, supports, and nourishes us whether we realize it or not, and clean water is essential not only our own health but all the plants and animals that we share our planet with. Keeping this water clean is no easy task but fortunately we can partner with native wetland plant communities to filter and reduce our city’s stormwater runoff. By working with the Earth’s biological and ecological processes (that evolved over the past 3.8 billion years!) we can restore ecological function to our urban environment, keeping our waters clean for humans and all life.