Office ofAlumni and Constituent Relations

Rain Garden

Your PLU student will on average see clouds 294 days out of this year, with rain at least 150 of those days. While that rain may seem intimidating to you or your student, the Sustainability Department at PLU is giving us all a reason to celebrate the rain, by creating a Rain Garden on campus.

What is a rain garden you ask? A Rain Garden acts to filter storm water that runs off from impermeable surfaces, such as pavement, and roof tops. A Rain Garden works in a similar way to native forested areas, providing a place for water to soak in and be naturally filtered, thereby removing all of the toxins from urban life, before it makes its way to ground water or local stream systems.

Why should we put a rain garden on campus? This project is student driven, from the initial idea, to the eventual finished product. Recent PLU graduate, Mackenzie Sehlke ‘11, developed the plan for a rain garden to be established on PLU’s campus for her Sustainability Fellowship. The rain garden is meant to be used as an educational resource about rain gardens and the water cycle for the entire campus and surrounding community. We are hoping that during the installation, and through the existence of the rain garden, people will become more aware of the importance of water filtration to healthy ecosystems and clean water sources for us to use too! Also, installing a rain garden this year is especially exciting as many departments around campus have a focus on water resources and water use, including the Wang Center, Student Involvement Leadership, Campus Ministry and many others. The rain garden will further inform people about water cycles happening right here on campus.

What can you do? The rain garden site is going to be installed on campus on November 5th, in conjunction with Family Weekend and the Go.See.Do. tour (Go. See. Do. is a series of experiences that represent a wide variety of events, lectures & outings). Please feel free to join in the installation work party on that Saturday if you are on campus or in the area! Also, encourage your student to come out as we build the site and add to it! There will be plenty of work to be done, but the more people who are there, the more fun we will all have! If they enjoy working in the rain garden, we hope they will want to come to our adjoining Habitat restoration sites to learn of other native plants that enjoy the rain as much as any PLU student, or maybe even more!

Erin Liden '14 and Katy Guinn '12
Habitat Restoration Volunteer Coordinators
PLU Sustainability Department