Students, residents and seniors planted the last flowers June 6 in raingardens at Greensboro Condominiums in St. Louis Park as part of an event celebrating completion of a new water-saving project created by the Minnesota Master Water Stewards program.
After the volunteers planted flowers, presenters provided information about watershed protection and water conservation at the condominium complex near West Franklin Avenue and Louisiana Avenue South.
The project collects rainwater from roofs, roads and other hard surfaces and stores it in a large underground cistern. The rainwater is recycled by using it to water the condo complex’s grass, trees and flowers. The system cuts down on the use of city water, which has to be pumped and treated before being sent to homes and businesses.
This new project also aims to keep local wetlands, streams and lakes cleaner by absorbing storm water and keeping it from washing pollutants from parking lots and streets into gutter drains, which go directly into nearby water bodies.
The participating children are students at Clear Lake Elementary, one of 18 schools in a new watershed education program run by the nonprofit conservation group Minnesota Trout Unlimited. Greensboro Condominiums residents and seniors joined them.
Participants learned water and land use and about how pollinator species such as butterflies and bees will benefit from the flowers planted. Pollinator species are in decline, and they are crucial to the production of fruit and many vegetables by moving from blossom to blossom.
More info on the program is available at freshwater.org.