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Millsboro to host rain garden workshop and planting May 21

May 13, 2013
This aerial view shows the three areas surrounding the parking lot of Millsboro Town Hall in which rain gardens will be planted May 21. SOURCE SUBMITTED

A free rain garden workshop and planting will take place Tuesday, May 21, at Millsboro Civic Center, 322 Wilson Highway. Three demonstration rain gardens will be planted in the islands around the parking lot at Town Hall to capture stormwater before it runs into surrounding streets.

For those who want to learn how to create a rain garden at home, the How to Create a Rain Garden Workshop is scheduled for 10 a.m. until noon. To get hands-on experience and tips from the experts, all are invited to help plant native plants in the three rain gardens from 12:30 until 3 p.m. All participants will receive a booklet with information on planning and planting a rain garden.

The Millsboro Rain Garden project is the sixth demonstration rain garden to be established in the Inland Bays watershed as part of the 1,000 Rain Gardens for the Inland Bays initiative. The first community demonstration rain garden was planted in May 2008 at Millville Town Hall. Since then, demonstration rain gardens have been established in Katie Helm Park in Dagsboro, at Good Earth Market in Clarksville, at City Hall in Rehoboth Beach, at the Bethany Beach Nature Center on Route 26, and coming this spring, at the park behind Town Hall in Fenwick Island. All are open to the public so visitors can see a rain garden, learn about native plants that grow well in them and pick up information so they can create their own.

The event is free, but advance registration is required. Contact Sarah Hilderbrand to register at dir.educate@wetland.org or 410-745-9620.

These gardens are being created through a partnership with the Sussex Conservation District, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Division of Watershed Stewardship, the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays and with Environmental Concern, a nonprofit organization in St. Michaels, Md. Funding is being provided by the Rain Gardens for the Bays initiative through the Environmental Protection Agency Clean Water Act, Section 19 program.

A rain garden is a garden with a mission to capture rain water where it falls and keep it off the streets. The Inland Bays, including fishing waters and bathing beaches, are fouled when rainwater and snow melt wash over city streets, parking lots, and suburban lawns and pick up pollutants like gas and oil, salt, fertilizer, pesticides, pet waste, disease-causing organisms, sediment and trash. This problem is called stormwater pollution.

One of just 28 National Estuary Programs, the Center for the Inland Bays is a nonprofit organization established in 1994 to promote the wise use and enhancement of the Inland Bays Watershed through habitat protection and restoration, science and research, education and outreach, and public policy. For more information on the Delaware Inland Bays, visit www.inlandbays.org.