Helping Katoomba High School build a rain garden

Helping Katoomba High School build a rain garden

7.06.2015 - Posted by Alexa McAuley
In March, I helped Blue Mountains City Council build a small rain garden at Katoomba High School. The rain garden was designed as a demonstration project and was deliberately built using low cost and readily-available materials and components which could be installed by a handy person at home.

Alluvium with community members at Katoomba High School helping to install a rain garden

The planter box in place and the drainage work complete

The Blue Mountains community are enthusiastic environmental volunteers and Council hopes to build many more rain gardens with local people, so knowledge transfer was a key objective of the project. We structured the project to include two hands-on workshops – one with Council staff to install the planter box, liner and pipe work, and a second with the community to fill the rain garden with gravel and soil media and plant out the surface. As we completed the rain garden it was already raining, but not enough to deter the locals!

Alluvium and community members at Katoomba High School helping to install a small rain garden

A rock mulch layer was installed on the filter surface before planting out

The nature of the existing drainage system at the site meant that a saturated zone was a good option here. We haven’t normally included a saturated zone on such a small rain garden, however it will be good to test this approach at such a small scale.
 

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