July 13, 2008

Racine woman wins rain garden

Here's a cool prize from the Root-Pike WIN - a free rain garden. Racine's Carol Miller won the unique, and environmentally friendly, prize in a drawing at this weekend's Dragon Boat Festival. Here's the full release:
Carol Miller, Racine, Wins Free Rain Garden in Drawing at Midwest Dragon Boat Festival

RACINE, WI — Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network announced today that Carol Miller of Parkfield Court, Racine, is the winner of the rain garden drawing held Saturday, July 12 at the Midwest Dragon Boat Festival. The rain garden consists of 70 moisture loving plants native to Wisconsin, 10 bags of mulch, garden hand tools, assistance from rain garden experts, and has a retail value of over $450.

The drawing attracted 133 entries and was part of Root-Pike WIN’s new Rain Garden Initiative booth at the Festival, that included the planted rain garden, rain garden experts and materials on how to build a rain garden and reduce polluted storm water runoff. Root-Pike WIN’s goal is to help reduce polluted stormwater runoff through the installation of rain gardens throughout the Root River and Pike River watershed, which covers an area from New Berlin to Kenosha.

The Rain Garden Initiative is funded by SC Johnson Fund, E.C. Styberg Foundation, Racine Community Foundation, WE Energy Corporation Foundation and CNH America. Twenty-three businesses and individuals sponsored the rain garden exhibit and the WIN Dragons, Root-Pike WIN’s paddling team, which won 4th place in the Jade Division championship round with 1:52.68 minutes. The sponsors were:

· Quick Cable Corporation
· Merchants Moving and Storage Company
· Finishing & Plating Service
· David Insurance
· Wendy McCalvy
· Agrecol Corporation
· Averitt Express
· Newport Builders, Inc.
· Spa at Great Lakes
· Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.
· Mike & Ann Luba
· Jelly Belly Candy Company
· Susan & Jerry Greenfield
· Reva & Michael Holmes
· Andy Yencha & Heather Couch
· Klema Feeds
· Ayra’s Deli Food Express
· Caledonia Conservancy
· Hall Consulting
· Bill & Linda Sasse
· Sara Wilson
· Roger & Suzanne Chernik
· Warren & Nancy DeKraay

The Rain Garden Initiative has funded 32 rain gardens in Racine, Kenosha and Milwaukee counties in 2008. The program also included free workshops, ongoing advice from experts, and annual monitoring for three years to make sure the gardens are managing storm water runoff.

Rain gardens are just what they sound like, gardens that soak up rain water, mainly from a roof, but also from a driveway and lawn. The garden fills up with a few inches of water that slowly filters into the ground rather than running off to storm sewers. According to DNR, one rain garden on a quarter-acre lot can reduce annual runoff by 25%. By reducing runoff, rain gardens can be valuable part of improving water quality in our streams, rivers and lakes, reducing flooding and replenishing groundwater.

The Root-Pike watershed encompasses parts of Kenosha, Racine, Milwaukee and Waukesha counties, where the organization and volunteers work to protect, restore, and sustain the ecosystem through grant funding of locally initiated projects. The Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network grew out of a group convened in 1998 by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to identify critical natural resource issues in the Root River and Pike River watersheds.

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