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Jul  2015

01

Local church helps Bluff Creek through rain garden

"Family of Christ Lutheran Church recently completed a 4,785-square-foot garden that is designed to clean rainfall before it runs off the church’s parking lot and into the storm sewer system – and eventually into the creek, according to a release from the church and the Carver Soil & Water Conservation District Member.

“It’s nice that we can do something to help the environment – to help God’s creation,” said Jeff Stuhr, chair of the church’s Creation Care Committee. “If everybody would do their part, we could make a change.”

According to The Riley Purgatory Bluff Creek Watershed District, which worked with the church on the project, a one-inch rainfall can drop more than 42,000 gallons of water onto the 1.41-acre parking lot. That water runs into nearby Bluff Creek, which eventually discharges into the Minnesota River.

The rain garden was built with a natural depression that captures the water runoff and its associated pollutants; native plants then absorb nutrients from the runoff while deep roots draw water into the ground, leaving clean water to run into the sewer system. Untreated water runoff can lead to algal blooms and lower the oxygen levels in rivers and lakes. “Most of us don’t realize that the water that runs into (Bluff Creek) ends up in the Gulf of Mexico,” Stuhr said.

Family of Christ, a church of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), has about 1,480 members. The church is covering about $5,000 of the project. The watershed district is covering $30,000 ($25,000 from a Clean Water Funds Grant and $5,000 from a cost-share program) while the city of Chanhassen is contributing $7,500. Minnesota Native Landscapes, based in Otsego, Minn., did the excavation and construction work and church volunteers planted more than 2,500 plants."

[Text from Chanhassen Villager, view entire article here; photo - RPBCWD]

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