A FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
1600 Grand Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105
Comments & questions to:
Rain garden receives award for native vegetation
October 28, 2008
The Macalester College rain garden, located on the north side of DeWitt Wallace Library, will receive an award for the planting of native, low-maintenance vegetation on October 29. Macalester's rain garden, nominated by a board member on the Mac-Grove Community Council, is one 16 gardens in the community to receive this award.
The Mac-Grove Community Council has been giving out Alley Garden Awards for many years to encourage the building and strengthening of community and safety within the neighborhood. This year, for the first time, the environmental committee decided to create a similar award encouraging well-maintained native gardens instead. In order to nominated, gardens had to be weed-free, well-maintained, and have a minimum of 50% native plants, among other requirements.
Macalester's rain garden started in 2003, when Daniel Ungier, '04, created it. It was expanded in 2004 and is now maintained by Tom Ibsen, '93, and Grassroots Restoration LLC, with the support of Macalester and other college interns.
The rain garden is made up of 100% water-resistant native plants. It's low point on campus designed to catch water that runs down from the sidewalk and slope between Kirk and the library.
"The plants serve as a natural water removal mechanism as opposed to direct drainage into the Mississippi River," said Kai Bosworth, '10. The vegetation has deep roots that slow the drainage of water, which prevents flooding, replenishes ground water supplies, and filters toxics out of the water.
According to Ibsen, a variety of new species were added late this past summer. "I am excited to see additional diversity next year!" he said.
Ibsen has also been responsible for care of the green roofs on campus and for spearheading the Mac Prairie, which is located south of Olin-Rice, beneath the wind turbine. The prairie was planted by seed in 2004 and contains over 80 species of native flowers, grasses, sedges, and rushes. The Mac-Grove Community Council environmental committee also provided a native garden award and sign for this project.
For more information on this topic, contact Suzanne Savanick Hansen. Contact: Tel: x6019