Purdue Extension offers training in rainscaping

March 2, 2015  


The rain garden outside Purdue's Horticulture and Landscape Architecture Buildingy. (Purdue Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture photo/John Orick) 

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue Extension is starting a program that will provide training and resources on "rainscaping" practices used in residential gardens or small-scale public spaces to reduce pollution from runoff.

The Purdue Rainscaping Education Program will begin in April with pilot workshops focusing on planning, installing and maintaining rain gardens. The workshops will train Purdue master gardeners, personnel in conservation agencies and organizations, storm water professionals, and landscape professionals and consultants.

"Participants will visit and discuss existing rain gardens in the community, then learn how to site, design, construct and maintain a rain garden with a focus on community education," said Kara Salazar, sustainable communities Extension specialist.

Rainscaping uses landscape design and management practices - at both the household and community scales, such as at schools, community centers and fairgrounds - that enable plants and soils to absorb storm water, reducing runoff from fertilizers and other pollutants that eventually reaches lakes, streams and rivers.

The program consists of five three-hour training sessions and educational service opportunities for volunteers in the Purdue Master Gardener Program. The workshops include classroom instruction through online learning and field trips to community rainscaping projects. Participants will create a demonstration rain garden with community partners in a public space.

Organizers encourage participants to attend as a community team to support implementation of public education programs and provide technical assistance to homeowners upon completion of the training.

Program pilots will be held weekly at two locations - one at the Tippecanoe County Extension Office, 3150 Sagamore Parkway S, Lafayette, starting April 6 and the other in the Family Arts Building on the Bartholomew County Fairgrounds, 50 W. 200 S, Columbus, beginning April 14. Four meetings will be in a workshop setting, with an additional meeting scheduled for the demonstration rain garden installation. Participants must attend all five sessions to receive a certificate of completion.

The registration rate of $25 is discounted from the full program fee of $50 during the 2015 pilot programs. Participants can buy final curriculum materials at a discounted rate expected at $25.  

Registration information is available online at Purdue Extension's The Education Store at https://www.edustore.purdue.edu. Search for product code CW-FNR-9. Registration also is available by calling the store at 888-398-4636.

For more information on the Tippecanoe County program, contact Salazar at 765-496-1070 or salazark@purdue.edu, or John Orick at 765-496-7956, orick@purdue.edu. For the Bartholomew County program, contact Kris Medic at 812-379-1665.

Writer: Keith Robinson, 765-494-2722, robins89@purdue.edu 

Source: Kara Salazar, 765-496-1070, salazark@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson, robins89@purdue.edu
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