By AIC guest blogger, Tova Callender, West Maui Watershed Coordinator, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Consultant to coordinate the activities of the Coral Reef Task Force in West Maui
The West Maui Ridge to Reef Initiative is scheming to start a Rain Garden Revolution. This nature-inspired technique is increasingly being employed by local governments and communities as a low impact means to reduce polluted run-off entering waterways.
But what exactly is it? A rain garden is an intentionally created flat bottom depression planted with natives positioned to receive, treat and infiltrate runoff from impervious surfaces such as a parking lot, roof or driveway.
In March, over 70 community members participated in the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program-funded installation and associated training for a demonstration rain garden in Wahikuli Wayside Park, West Maui. Much fun was had as participants worked shoulder to shoulder to dig out the garden, haul compost, rock and mulch, measure, grade, and plant native plants.
This Fall, we’ll launch the Rain Garden Hui, where six selected home and business owners will help others to build rain gardens in exchange for technical support and garden supplies. Also in the works is another West Maui county park installation that will be volunteer-built and maintained.
Interested in building your own rain garden? Check out Hui o Ko`olaupoko’s easy to follow Hawaii Rain Garden Manual and other great information at our West Maui Kumuwai rain garden page.