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  1. Keeping the Rain Where It Falls

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    April 26, 2012 by Steve Winkler

    About a dozen folks descended on West Fork’s Heritage Gardens adjacent to the recycle center Wednesday afternoon to install the town’s first rain garden. Volunteers came from Farmington, Baldwin, Fayetteville and West Fork, representing several organizations including the Washington County Master Gardeners, Illinois River Watershed Partnership and Beaver Water District. The gathering was a chance for hands on training in the installation of rain gardens which help protect our water supply from stormwater, the number one pollutant of our nation’s waterways. The volunteers planted drought resistant native plants in a slightly dug out and bermed garden. Rain gardens allow storm runoff to infiltrate into the earth which means surplus runoff caused by impervious surfaces is reduced. Also plants and soil bacteria treat pollutants that the runoff has picked up as it flows across pavements or heavily fertilized lawns according to information provided by the Rain Garden Project of Beaver Water District. Most existing rain gardens in our area serve as demonstration projects located in public parks in Fayetteville. The concept hasn’t gone unnoticed by area builders, particularly by those “building Green.” Clint Penzo of Penzo Custom Homes visited the West Fork garden site to learn more about excavation. “I plan …

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