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  • June plant swap is Saturday
    “June Plant Swap” is 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday at Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun St. Reservations are required by Thursday; 427-6000 or go to www.
  • Workshops focus on preserving produce
    FORT WAYNE – The Purdue Extension Service in Allen County is offering Preserving Nature’s Bounty workshops on safe home food preservation procedures and to answer frequently asked questions on canning, freezing
  • Master Gardener helpline available
    A free Master Gardener Volunteers Helpline is available through The Ohio State University Extension Office in Paulding, Ohio.
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"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."

Free rain garden workshops offered

Statement as issued Thursday by the city of Fort Wayne:

Fort Wayne, IN – Residents can improve drainage on their property and help improve the quality of water runoff into our rivers by attending one of the City Utilities rain garden workshops.

The free, popular workshops have trained more than 1200 residents over the past six years on how to install a rain garden.

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. Compared with a grassed lawn area, a rain garden may allow 30% more water to be absorbed.

Native plants are recommended for rain garden planting because they have robust root systems that break up soil, allowing more water to soak in. Native plants also provide nectar, food and habitat for native butterflies, hummingbirds and songbirds.

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 our rivers.

This year, there will be two types of workshops.

The “Type A” workshop is the traditional 3-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 2-hour “refresher” course for those of you 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.

Those interested in learning about rain gardens and how to build them still have several opportunities to attend free workshops offered by City Utilities.

Full 3-Hour Workshop (Type A) Dates:

Saturday March 22 10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Citizens Square Omni Room – Room 045

200 E. Berry Street

Thursday April 17 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Citizens Square Omni Room – Room 045

200 E. Berry Street

Saturday April 26, 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Fire Station #19

10116 Covington Road

Refresher 2-Hour Workshop (Type B) Dates:

Thursday March 27 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Citizens Square Omni Room – Room 045

200 E. Berry Street

Saturday April 5 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Indiana Tech

Andorfer Commons Room 242

1600 E. Washington Blvd.

Thursday May 8 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Citizens Square Omni Room – Room 045

200 E. Berry Street

Saturday May 17 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

University of St. Francis

North Campus (Room 141)

2701 Spring Street

Residents who own property in the City of 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 427-1381. More information about rain gardens may be found at City Utilities’ rain garden website at www.CatchingRainFW.org.

Journey through gardening season with Rosa Salter Rodriguez (feature writer) rsalter@jg.net, Anne Gregory (Web editor and writer) agregory@jg.net, Frank Noonan (copy editor) fnoonan@jg.net and Cathie Rowand (photographer) crowand@jg.net.

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