Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

October 1, 2013

Rain garden workshop set for later this month

GOSHEN — GOSHEN — Interested in learning more about rain gardens and how to install them? If so, the Elkhart County Soil and Water Conservation District may have just what you need.

For those interested, the Elkhart County SWCD is sponsoring a Rain Garden workshop Oct. 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the West Park Pavilion in Nappanee.

According to Eric Kurtz, stormwater coordinator with the Elkhart County SWCD, the workshop will feature Rusty Schmidt, a landscape ecologist with experience designing and maintaining hundreds of rain gardens. Schmidt is the author of The Blue Thumb Guide to Rain Gardens.

“The workshop will be geared toward homeowners, conservation professionals, landscape professionals, gardeners, and anyone interested in growing beautiful plants and improving our streams, rivers and lakes,” Kurtz said.

Topics will include rain garden design and construction, planting recommendations and maintenance. Kurtz noted that continuing education credits for landscape architects will also be available, pending approval.

“Rain gardens capture rainwater and slow runoff,” Kurtz said. “They naturally treat stormwater runoff while attracting birds and butterflies and creating a beautiful native perennial flower bed. Dozens of Elkhart County residents have installed rain gardens through an incentive program sponsored by the Greater Elkhart County Stormwater Partnership. More information on this program can be found at www.stormwaterelkco.org.”

Cost to attend the rain garden workshop will be $25, with the deadline to register set for Oct. 11. Lunch will be provided.

To register, contact the Elkhart County SWCD at 574-312-0336 or email Kurtz at eric.kurtz@in.nacdnet.net.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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