This summer I’m working with members of the Portland Chapter of Surfrider to design and help install a couple rain garden. Last week we had a BBQ where we worked together to plan the rain gardens. We performed percolation tests (to see how fast the soil can drain water and make sure it’s a good location) and calculated the size and spacing of the actual rain garden (it must be at least 10% of the size of the roof area – which will have rain water directed to the rain garden).
Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit group that works to protect the health of our oceans. They do a lot of great things for our watersheds, which all lead back to our oceans. Check them out: http://oregon.surfrider.org/portland/
One of their programs is called Ocean Friendly Gardening, which promotes conserving water in the landscape as well as finding ways to keep storm water onsite (instead of letting it enter the storm water system) with the use of permeable materials, water catchment systems and rain gardens. If you see someone with one of these signs, you can be sure they’ve done a lot to make their landscape environmentally friendly, and you can too! Check out their program and get yourself qualified for a sign.