Harvesting Technologies News
Raingarden and rainwater harvesting system
JAMES ISLAND — Medway Park and Community Garden on James Island has a new raingarden and rainwater harvesting system that will help people in the Riverland Terrace neighborhood supply fresh vegetables for themselves and a community food bank and keep toxins out of their local waterways, thanks in part to Clemson Master Rain Gardeners and architecture students.
The installation will also serve as inspiration for park visitors, according to Leslie Wade, community gardening coordinator for the Charleston Parks Conservancy.
“The raingarden and rainwater harvesting system here at Medway will show the neighborhood what they can do with harvested rainwater in their home landscapes and that it is possible to harvest rainwater and put it to use. The system will also take away some of the garden’s reliance on city water for watering the beds for irrigation,” Wade said.
The Charleston Parks Conservancy’s Community Gardening Program includes Medway Park and Community Garden, Elliotborough Park and Community Garden and Magnolia Park and Community Garden.
Medway has 61 garden beds for lease by members of the community and 12 larger garden beds devoted to growing produce for local food pantries. Medway also has a pavilion designed and constructed by a team of Clemson University architecture students.
Kim Counts Morganello, Clemson Extension water resources agent and Master Rain Gardener coordinator, said the Master Rain Gardener course is a response to growing demand from clients who want to convert the state’s abundant rainfall into landscape features that can water gardens, control erosion and moisture, and provide habitat for wildlife.
Morganello led a team of Clemson water and horticulture experts in designing the Master Rain Gardener hybrid certification course. The course includes a letter of completion track, which is online instruction intended for home gardeners, and a certification track, which also includes a field component and is intended for professionals. The Master Rain Gardener course was offered for the first time this spring. The Medway Garden field day was the culmination of the certification track.
Charleston County averages approximately 51 inches of rain per year and South Carolina averaged 49.8 inches of rainfall per year over a 30-year period from 1970 to 2000, ranking it 11th among the states, according to data from NOAA National Climatic Data Center. Much of that rainwater falls in torrents due to dramatic storm events, runs off impervious rooftops, driveways and streets, then rolls into rivers and streams, picking up an array of pollutants along the way.
“With raingardens, we’re able to slow that water down and give it an opportunity to infiltrate into the soil. In this way, we can use physical, chemical and biological processes to clean the water before it flows into waterways,” said Cal Sawyer, Water Resources Extension specialist and associate professor in Clemson’s agricultural sciences department.
Source : http://newsstand.clemson.edu/