Construction began last week on a new rain garden beside North Delta’s McCloskey Elementary.
The garden is the latest — and largest — to be built at (or, in this case, adjacent to) a North Delta elementary school. At 500 square metres, it will receive and infiltrate more than 2 million litres of rainwater runoff from the school’s roof every year.
Located in the BC Hydro corridor west of the school (11400-block 80th Ave.), the rain garden is a collaboration between the City of Delta and the Cougar Creek Streamkeepers. The organizations came together to build their first rain garden in 2006 at Cougar Canyon Elementary, and since then have built about two dozen of them throughout North Delta.
“Rain gardens help the environment by replenishing the groundwater that keeps our creeks flowing and our forests well hydrated during the dry summer months,” said Deborah Jones, rain gardens coordinator with the Cougar Creek Streamkeepers.
“They also filter out pollutants. Rainwater that seeps underground from a rain garden to a salmon stream is cool and clean, whereas rainwater that’s piped directly from pavements and roofs into that same stream is warm and polluted.”
McCloskey Elementary is located within the watershed of Blake Creek, a salmon stream in its own right that flows into Cougar Creek — North Delta’s most productive salmon stream — just north of 72nd Avenue at the edge of the Delta Nature Reserve.
Work began on the the rain garden Monday, Oct. 16 and is expected to take about four weeks to complete. Phase one, excavating the area and placing bedding materials, is nearly finished. Phase two, planting the 1,100 plants that will make up the garden, will be conducted by students at McCloskey and volunteers from the Streamkeepers Nov. 6-9.