Monday, May 13, 2013

Rain Gardens

For the lack of a better topic to write about I'll talk about not having class and going outside to dig ditches and massacre plants. While a good third of the freshmen grade at my school today were busy with AP Bio, the remainder was consigned to forced manual labor. So instead of enriching our minds with various bits of knowledge, we were trundled out into the cold and put to work at our daunting tasks for roughly an hour or so. To put things into perspective "forced manual labor" means helping to weed a garden for an hour or so instead of sitting in a classroom and learning about plants and all those other things you need to know to pass biology. And "cold" means mid 50s. And "task" means a square meter of garden space that needs to be cleared of some vegetation.

Specifically our school has two rain gardens along one of the parking lots on the south side of the building, if I my memory/sense of direction is right (It's probably not). Okay, Google has confirmed that I have not suffered short term memory loss, yet. So, back to rain gardens.

Basically, the point of a rain garden is that when it rains, run off water flows across surfaces, e.g. parking lots and meadows, and picks up stuff along the way before draining into bodies of water. Specifically, on parking lots, which are more often then not used as places to park cars, which sometimes leak various chemicals, water can pick up a bunch of nasty pollutants, which are not something one wants in our water supply. This is where the rain gardens come in. Instead of letting water happily flow into a storm drain, stream, pond, lake, river, etc. the rain garden keeps water away from those sources and lets the water drain through the ground, which acts as a filter before the water reaches the ground water. This is done by basically digging a ditch in the way of the water flow. and planting some plants. Wikipedia probably has a better explanation on rain gardens.

Finally, back to what actually happened. If you were hoping for something interesting or unusual, you've come to the wrong place (or at least clicked the wrong link). Nothing really remarkable happened. Some gardeners came, told us what to do, and we got to work. A note of advice to anyone who is considering doing something like this: use gloves, and an action hoe is invaluable. Being the idiot I am I decided to use my hands instead of using a hoe/other tool to remove weeds in my area. In my defense there was a limited supply of tools, but using my hands without gloves was pretty stupid. But still, weeding was still a nice break from school work and it definitely beats sitting in a room for four hours bubbling circles.


  1. Gardening is so fun. SO SO SO FUN. It was the best class of the year :D Gardening's really stress relieving. So, after taking (what's it called, I forgot...) the...uhm...fabric breaker/stabber, and furiously stabbing the fabric underneath the soil with it, it felt pretty good. (Needless to say, Andrew referred to how "VIOLENT" I was. I'm not violent. Especially when right after he said that, everybody INCLUDING him asked for the fabric stabber to try it out for themselves.) :P
    And by the way, I did not spend 4 hours bubbling circles. I spent 4 hours bubbling circles AND torturing my poor hand by writing essay questions. I think something's wrong with my hand now.

    1. +1 (Since there's no like button... I'm forced to do this.)