Harnessing Rainwater to Feed our Plants
By Peter Rovick - Wellesley Conservation Council
With all of the rain that has fallen in the Boston area recently, conserving water for summer droughts is probably not the first thing to come to one's mind. Yet, to kick off the 2006 Memorial Day Weekend, Wellesley Conservation Council (WCC) board members Kent Fox and Peter Rovick focused on a project to address this issue for Cronk's Rocky Woodland, a property belonging to the WCC.
WCC Board Member Kent Fox
Cronk's contains many delicate wildflowers and plants which occur naturally and can survive hot weather & droughts, but which thrive when given appropriate watering. Thus, Kent Fox installed a small gutter and a 50-gallon drum to catch rainwater which falls onto the roof of a shed on the Cronk's property. Kent attached a spigot to the bottom of the barrel and Peter and Kent raised the barrel on top of cinder blocks in order to be able to place watering buckets or a hose under the spigot.
Other options for supplying water to plants on the property included bringing tap water in milk jugs from members' homes or obtaining water with permission of neighbors surrounding Cronk's. Installing a gutter and barrel was the much preferred method because it is emblematic of the spirit of conservation, by collecting and conserving naturally falling rainwater.
Kent and Peter plan to return to Cronk's in mid-June to install a second gutter and barrel, which should help to provide the watering capacity that will be needed during the hot summer months and the drier times of the year.
Bleeding Heart and Phlox
How can I store rainwater for my plants? It's easy. Below are the materials that you may need. Just place the barrel in a location by one of the gutters around your home.
About the Wellesley Conservation Council: The Wellesley Conservation Council was founded in 1958 to protect and preserve Wellesley's environment, its fields, forests, streams and wetlands for future generations and to promote environmental education. http://www.wellesleyconservationcouncil.org
Learn more about Cronk's Rocky Woodland : http://www.wellesleyconservationcouncil.org/cronks_chapter.htm