By Paige Ahlborg
|Lakeview Lutheran Church was our first completed project through the Clean Water Land & Legacy Grant.|
In 2013, Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District received a community partners grant through the Clean Water Land & Legacy Amendment. We used this grant to partner with six churches to install over fifteen rain gardens on their properties. These churches were in Maplewood, Roseville and St. Paul. A complete listing can be found on our website. This grant was met with such success that we applied for and received a second grant in 2015 to work with six additional churches.
In 2016, rain gardens were installed at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Parkview United Church of Christ in White Bear Lake and Christ United Methodist Church in Maplewood. In 2017, rain gardens were installed at North Presbyterian Church in North St. Paul and Trinity Presbyterian Church in Woodbury. The final rain garden is set to be installed at North Heights Church in Roseville this fall.
|Rain garden at North Presbyterian Church in North St. Paul|
This grant targeted faith organizations in priority sub-watersheds with impaired waters (those not meeting state water quality standards) or waters that are at-risk of becoming impaired. The water bodies protected through this phase of the grant include Kohlman Lake, Battle Creek and Lake Owasso. Rain gardens were installed to help lessen the amount of stormwater runoff coming from large parking lots and rooftops. By capturing the stormwater, the rain gardens help reduce the amount of phosphorus and other pollution that reaches these important water bodies.
These beautiful rain gardens not only help improve water quality, they also provide increased pollinator habitat, increased aesthetic value to the property and provide an ongoing education opportunity to the congregation.
|Rain garden at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Woodbury|
For the first two years following rain garden installation, RWMWD covers maintenance costs on these projects. Church maintenance staff and volunteers are invited to be involved with the maintenance during that time to learn how to maintain their gardens.
After our maintenance contract expires, RWMWD staff work closely with church staff to help them fully know what is needed to keep their rain gardens looking and functioning as intended.
RWMWD has worked with many churches over the years and will continue to do so into the future under our cost share program. These grants target churches that may not otherwise known about our goals for water quality improvement. We are grateful to have received the grant and grateful to have worked with these organizations on a common goal.
More information can be found on our website at www.rwmwd.org.