Experts host rain garden workshops

File photo - Garden (MGM photo)
File photo - Garden (MGM photo)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Fort Wayne City Utilities officials are hosting free workshops this spring where you can learn to install a rain garden while improving drainage on your property and the quality of water runoff into the city’s rivers.

Rain gardens are landscaped areas that help manage and control rain water runoff by containing it where it falls and giving the water an opportunity to soak into the ground, rather than enter a sewer.  The garden fills with a few inches of rain water that comes off of the roof of a house or building during a storm. After the storm, the water slowly soaks into the ground instead of running off the land into a storm sewer or waterway.

The gardens help residents deal with drainage issues on their property such as standing water, and help reduce the amount of runoff that goes into combined sewers, which improves water quality in the city’s rivers.

This year, there will be two types of workshops. The “Type A” workshop is the traditional three-hour session that includes everything you need to know to create a rain garden on your property including:  sizing, shape, location, routing water to the garden, construction, plant selection and maintenance. The “Type B” workshop is a two-hour “refresher” course for those who may have attended a workshop in the past or who may already have a rain garden.  This workshop includes one-hour of rain garden basics and one-hour of information on selecting and using native plants.

Here is a schedule of the workshops:

Full three-hour workshop (Type A):

Saturday, March 22 at 10:30 a.m.
Citizens Square Omni Room – Room 045, 200 E. Berry Street

Thursday, April 17 at 6 p.m.
Citizens Square Omni Room – Room 045, 200 E. Berry Street

Saturday, April 26 at 8:30 a.m.
Fire Station #19, 10116 Covington Road

Refresher two-hour workshop (Type B):

Thursday March 27 at 6 p.m.
Citizens Square Omni Room – Room 045, 200 E. Berry Street

Saturday April 5 at 8:30 a.m.
Indiana Tech – Andorfer Commons Room 242, 1600 E. Washington Blvd.

Thursday May 8 at 6 p.m.
Citizens Square Omni Room – Room 045, 200 E. Berry Street

Saturday May 17 at 8:30 a.m.
University of St. Francis – North Campus (Room 141), 2701 Spring Street

Residents who own property in Fort Wayne are eligible to apply for a cash incentive to help offset some of the costs of installing a rain garden when they attend a rain garden workshop.

To register for a workshop or for more information, call (260) 427-1381 or click here.

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