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This is National Drinking Water Week, and, as part of this week, we're bringing you a series on the Watershed Center at Valley Water Mill. In this segment, KSMU's Michele Skalicky tells you about another unique feature at the site, a rain garden.
The Watershed Center at Valley Water Mill is focused on education in everything it does. One educational component at the site is a small plot of ground just off the trail on the east side of the lake. It's a rain garden.
Loring Bullard, executive director of the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks, says plants chosen for a rain garden must be ones that don't mind getting wet, but also can withstand long dry periods.
Not only will the rain garden serve as an educational tool, it's already proven a popular spot for wildlife. Bullard says soon after a recent rain, a turtle laid her eggs in the garden.
According to Bullard, rain gardens can be beneficial to the environment by providing a place for runoff to go when it rains. He says you want to do everything you can to slow down and filter runoff. If it can be infiltrated into the soil, he says, it will replenish groundwater rather than creating erosion or flooding downstream.
He hopes people will learn from the rain garden as well as from other components of the Watershed Center.
He says even those who visit Valley Water Mill just to fish can learn something.
For more information about the Watershed Center at Valley Water Mill, go to watershedcenter.net.