The Craven County Master Gardener Volunteer Association (CCMGVA) mission is to provide research-based information about gardening, environmental stewardship and best horticultural practices to individuals and our community.
With that mission in mind, we have reclaimed a thickly overgrown and often wet area on the grounds of the Craven County Cooperative Extension Center property. We found that it would be the perfect place to develop an outdoor classroom to highlight water conservation, water runoff control and insect mitigation.
Our goal with this project is to educate both our community and school children in grades five and six from Craven, Pamlico and Jones Counties on these important issues. To accomplish this, we will install a demonstration rain garden, bog garden, and dry stream bed, using primarily native NC plants.
A rain garden is a shallow depression designed to collect rainwater. The rain garden captures this water for a short period of time, allowing the water to soak slowly into the landscape, rather than flow into overtaxed storm drains or creeks. Rain gardens act as a natural filter, removing oil, grease and toxic materials that may mix with rainwater on roofs and other surfaces. This area will feature plants that can survive in occasionally damp conditions.
A bog garden is a permanently damp area. It too allows runoff to seep into the soil, filtering out pollutants and recharging the local aquifer. This area will be planted with native carnivorous plants to highlight insect-plant interactions and insect control.
A dry stream bed is a trenched area with raised sides that follows the natural water flow after a rain. It is lined with gravel to stop erosion and direct rain and water runoff. The dry steam bed in this project will direct rain and drainage runoff to the bog and rain gardens.
We anticipate these projects to be completed by the end of 2021. We will then develop educational pamphlets for both adults and children. That will allow us to invite both the general public and school children to tour and learn from our outdoor classroom starting in 2022.
Polluted stormwater runoff is the number one reason for poor water quality in NC. Our project will present both valuable knowledge and solutions for those facing water and drainage problems. By involving students from Craven and surrounding counties, we will be passing on environmental stewardship to the next generation of North Carolinians.
For details visit the NC Cooperative Extension – Craven County website or call 252-633-1477.
By Carole McHale