Learn how to beautify (and 'green') your yard at April workshops

Nancy Shaw of Bay Village displays the rain barrel she constructed at a workshop held last year.

Spring is a great time to look at ways to improve the management of storm water in your yard.

When rain water falls on our property, it hits the hard surfaces all around us such as roofs, lawns, sidewalks and driveways. Typically, the water drainage is set up so that it runs into storm sewers or streams that drain directly to the lake, carrying with it the residue of fertilizer and pesticides along with litter, pet waste and non-biodegradable cleaners. Recent studies indicate that up to 70 percent of all lake and stream pollution comes from residential yards.

The Bay Village Green Team is offering two workshops as part of their yearlong "Green Your Life" series to educate the community about methods for dealing with rain water in an environmentally-friendly way.

Amy Roskilly from the Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District will lead the workshops, to be held at the Bay Community House, 303 Cahoon Rd. To register for one or both, call Roskilly at 216-524-6580, ext. 22, or email aroskilly@cuyahogaswcd.org. The workshops are open to the public and families are welcome!


Wednesday, April 25, 6-7:30 p.m. This workshop is $60 which includes a rain barrel and diverter kit. When you leave this workshop you will have a rain barrel that is ready to install at your home.

The rain barrels are designed to easily hook into your gutter system and collect rain water. The rain water is then used to water flowers and other plants in your yard. Rain barrels are a great way to reduce storm water run-off into streams and lakes, and provide your plants with water that is naturally soft and chlorine-free.


Wednesday, May 9, 6:30-8 p.m. This workshop is free. You will learn the proper techniques for building a beautiful rain garden in your yard.

A rain garden is a lovely addition to your landscaping and can feature a selection of vibrant native plants of varying sizes, colors and bloom time to provide for beautiful flowers all season. Select perennial native plants that don’t mind being in water. A properly designed rain garden will only retain water for a maximum of 48 hours. A rain garden can also be enhanced with natural stone.

Because native plants are well-adapted to our soil and climate, they require minimal maintenance once established. They also have deep root systems which help retain water and reduce storm water run-off. Some recommended native plants for our area include: Blazing Star, Cardinal Flower, Common Ninebark, Joe-Pye Weed, New England Aster, Purple Coneflower, Red Maple, Scarlett Beebalm, Wild Geranium, Swamp Milkweed, Switch Grass, Trumpet Creeper, and Winterberry. An added benefit is that these native species will attract birds and butterflies to your yard.

For additional upcoming activities, please visit the Events section at www.bayvillagegreenteam.com.

Brenda OReilly

Co-Chair of the Bay Village Green Team

Read More on Nature & Environment
Volume 4, Issue 8, Posted 11:11 AM, 04.17.2012