Volunteers turned a sloped berm along Ann Street into a new rain garden in less than two hours on Saturday.
The rain garden—a collaboration between Stephens and the City of Columbia Stormwater Utility Outreach and Education program—will allow native plants to treat runoff before it runs into the Hinkson Creek. Native grasses, shrubs and flowering plants will absorb and benefit from some of the sediments, fertilizers and chemicals from the water, essentially cleaning the runoff before it reaches the creek.
The site will double as an educational station for both Stephens students and the public.
The Environmental Protection Agency in 2011 called on the city, county and University of Missouri to work together to reduce storwmater runoff into the Hinkson Creek by 39 percent. While Stephens was not cited in the report, “this is about being good neighbors,” said Richard Perkins, project manager at Stephens.
Volunteers on Saturday included employees from the City of Columbia and Stephens College, Caring for Columbia and students from Stephens and the University of Missouri. Women of the Earth, a student organization, partnered with Facilities and the City of Columbia to host the event and received SGA’s Best Green Week Event Award on Friday for organizing it.
A video of the project is provided through the city's Stormwater Education Program.
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