All the hours of work on the rain garden have been rewarded each year by the sense of renewal, peace, and community the garden provides. Thanks to Pat Johnson for sharing these photos.
Wren sings and scolds
until her brood fledges,
So ordered, bound
to earth we walk away.
--Poem by Sam Johnson
Many hours of volunteer labor have gone into the digging, designing, planting, weeding, cultivating, and watering of the rain garden behind the CVFM Meetinghouse at 512 Washington Street. From the time we knew we would build a Meetinghouse, the Meeting began planning for a rain garden. The bird house installed next to the rain garden has served each year as a shelter and maternity ward for families of wrens.
Rain gardens, according to the US Department of Agriculture, are "depressional areas landscaped with perennial flowers and native vegetation that soak up rainwater." By capturing runoff from impervious surfaces, such as roofs, sidewalks, and streets, rain gardens allow rainwater to soak naturally into the ground, instead of disappearing down a storm drain and causing more pollution in nearby lakes and rivers.
As part of the Quaker Testimony of Stewardship, Friends are called to walk gently on the Earth. We try to adopt practices which have the least negative impact on the world's limited natural resources. It is particularly important in these times of extravagant and wasteful use of water, especially by more technologically developed nations, that we do all we can to conserve freshwater rivers, lakes, and streams.
The City of Northfield currently encourages residents to install rain gardens through their Rain Garden Cost Share Program. For more information on installing a rain garden in Northfield and available financial incentives, please see the following page on the City of Northfield's website: http://www.ci.northfield.mn.us/index.aspx?NID=338.