The Watershed Institute is offering three courses on rain gardens, rain barrels and eco-friendly yards in the upcoming months.
Gardeners, homeowners and others preparing for the growing season may want to make changes in their practices, such as avoiding the use of pesticides. These presentations and question-and-answer sessions also will help homeowners contemplate ways to capture excess rainwater by adding a rain garden or installing rain barrels.
RAIN GARDENS FOR HOMEOWNERS
On Wednesday, Feb. 19 from 6:30 – 8 p.m., a panel of experts will help homeowners build and care for rain gardens in a free presentation. Along with beautifying a property, rain gardens reduce the polluted runoff to streams while enhancing native habitat for pollinators and other local wildlife. The evening will cover many details, such as how to determine the location, size, and depth of your rain garden, native plant selection, costs, and preparation. We will also discuss how to redirect roof water to the garden, trouble-shooting problems such as weeds, erosion and water capture, and learn how to maintain your garden over the years.
Stormwater Specialist Kory Kreiseder will share her experiences of installing and managing the Watershed’s extensive rain gardens. She also will discuss the installation of several rain gardens in Hopewell Borough. A Rutgers Landscaping designer will also share his expertise in advising homeowners on how to construct, design and maintain residential rain gardens.
ORGANIC YARD CARE & LAWN ALTERNATIVES
On Thursday, March 12 from 6:30 – 8 p.m., various professionals will help homeowners learn how to create healthier yards and beautify their properties while reducing chemical use in a free panel discussion. Professionals from The Watershed Institute, SavATree, and Jersey-Friendly Yards will present detailed information on how to ‘green’ up a residential property. Everything applied to yards eventually ends up in local waterways, so it is critical to minimize chemical applications on our properties.
Topics covered will include reducing synthetic herbicide and pesticide use, restoring green and vigorous lawn without chemicals, converting lawn to garden, reducing irrigation needs for yards, native plants, composting, and more. The presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session, so come learn about landscaping for a healthy environment.
BUILD A RAIN BARREL
On Saturday, June 6 from 1- 3 p.m., the local Watershed Ambassador will lead a workshop on how to collect rainwater for gardens while helping keep local streams clean. Homeowners will learn about rainwater harvesting and ways they can help reduce local water pollution.
A short presentation will be followed by rain barrel construction. The rain barrel construction requires some light use of tools such as drills and screwdrivers, and will be guided by staff at The Watershed Institute. Instructions will also be provided on rain barrel installation and maintenance. This class involves a $50 fee to cover materials.