Five members of the local Lake of the Ozarks chapter of the Missouri Master Naturalist program turned out on Monday, May 6 for the final planting of a new rain garden.
The rain garden, adjacent to the plant sales area of Gifted Gardens at Lake area Industries in Camdenton, was designed to address stormwater runoff from the road and parking lot, and the resulting erosion issues.
This effort was a successful collaboration between Lake Area Industries, local businesses, Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS), Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), and the Missouri Master Naturalist program.
Adam Coulter, Urban Conservationist (NRCS), spearheaded the design and construction of the rain garden.
Labor and supplies were donated by local businesses. Jodi Moulder, Private Land Conservationist (MDC), provided the garden design featuring many Missouri native plants that are not only beautiful, but also well adapted to conditions in the rain garden.
Moulder also coordinated the volunteer efforts of the Master Naturalists.
And finally, Master Naturalists turned out to work along side Lake Area Industries employees to plant the garden and apply a thick layer of protective mulch.
A rain garden is a special kind of garden designed to collect and absorb heavy stormwater runoff.
Usually, it is a small garden which is designed with plants selected to withstand the extremes of moisture.
They should be located close to the source of the runoff and serve to slow the stormwater as it travels downhill, giving the stormwater more time to infiltrate and less opportunity to gain momentum and erosive power.
On the final planting day, Adam Coulter was on hand to oversee the planting and give the final plant installation advice.
Moulder and the Missouri Master Naturalist volunteers selected the native plants from the Gifted Garden stock, and created the final garden design based on the available plant stock.
After the plants were in the ground, a final layer of thick decorative mulch was applied was spread on top, and the plants were well watered to get them established.
While this garden will need to be watered until the plants get established, over time this will become a beautiful and low maintenance garden, requiring little care and only occasional maintenance.