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Projects Updates for Red Oak Rain Garden
Located just south of Allen Hall/LAR and west of McKinley Health Center, the Red Oak Rain Garden solves local flooding issues while providing an outdoor space for the UIUC community. This SSC grant provides support for sidewalk modifications and additions, expanding pedestrian and cyclist transportation while strengthening flood control. The project team will also install benches to encourage community members to use the space throughout the year. For outreach, the project team will host a ribbon cutting event that celebrates the upgraded rain garden. Similarly, individuals can follow the rain garden @RainGardenUIUC on all social media platforms.Attached Files:
Spring 2017: Landscape Architecture student Cameron Letterly submitted proposal to SSC, along with Illinois Extension’s Eliana Brown. Cameron graduated.
Summer 2017: Cameron completed initial design work for garden
Fall 2017: Staff turnover; Cameron left to start MBA program and Katherine Gardiner was brought on as Communications Lead
Winter 2017-2018: Staff addition of Landscape Architect student Layne Knoche
Spring 2018: Layne designing Extension pamphlets to base future RORG communications products upon, with assistance from Eliana and Katherine
Summer 2018: Staff addition of Landscape Architect Master’s Candidate Kayla Myers; Layne and Kayla work to re-design garden.
Fall 2018: Grounds will remove rock and install erosion control fabric.
Winter 2018-2019: Kayla Myers and Layne Knoche to work with Architectural Review Committee for final design approval and plant suppliers to arrange spring planting.
Spring 2019: Cement finishers will install the sidewalk. Afterwards, Master Gardeners, Master Naturalists, and the Red Bison student group will install the plantings.
Red Oak Rain Garden 2.0 restores the original Red Oak Rain Garden that was established 10 years ago to address the flooding issue between McKinley Health Center and Allen Hall. Students will work alongside faculty, staff, and community members to plant specific plants that provide multi-season flooding protection. This project aims to increase awareness surrounding horticulture and natural flooding management while addressing an infrastructural issue on campus.
The Student Sustainability Committee provides financial support to purchase plants, signage, training materials, and hardscape. The plant species are specifically chosen for maximum efficiency and learning. Likewise, the signage will allow the passerby to identify native species. University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners will support the garden while students are on academic breaks and provide Red Bison, a student-led organization, with rain garden training.Attached Files:
Eliana Brown with the Water Resources Center presented the attached file to a Landscape Architecture class, called "Natural Precedent in Planting" taught by Dept of Landscape Architecture's Designer in Residence Katy Kraszewska.Attached Files:
Laura Haber at Allen Hall is interested in potentially extending the Native Plants at LAR to include Allen, and the Dept of Landscape Architecture's Designer in Residence, Katy Kraszewska, is interested in potentially having students from the class "Natural Precedent in Planting" provide some site designs.
Cameron Letterly shared his current design thoughts with the Superintendent of Grounds, Ryan Welch, and the Campus Landscape Architect, Brent Lewis. Eliana Brown and Morgan Johnston also participated in the meeting. See attached files.
On July 20, 2017, a second Public Input session was held for the update to the Red Oak Rain Garden. Cameron Letterly presented two concepts for the rain garden, and groups of participants provided written and verbal feedback.
Specific stakeholders were invited to join a workshop on July 11, 2017 for stakeholder input to the rennovation design of the Red Oak Rain Garden.
You’re invited to a series of two facilitated meetings seeking input from stakeholders about the Red Oak Rain Garden.
Red Oak Rain Garden was installed 10 years ago as part of Tony Endress’ NRES classes. As of this year, the Extension Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists have an agreement in place with F&S Grounds to volunteer with the garden. Although the garden still performs well keeping water off of the pedestrian sidewalk, approximately 90% of the original plantings did not survive. We are working on a renovation plan that will enhance its aesthetics and multi-functionality. But, how exactly does the space function presently? What would be ideal?
This is where you come in. As either a campus neighbor, student, volunteer, and/or stormwater-related professional, we seek your input that will inform the garden plan.
Meeting 1: July 11 (Tue) 3 – 4:30 PM ACES Library, Monsanto Rm. Agenda: Provide background/history, ask questions, and present preliminary design direction options.
Meeting 2: July 20 (Thu) 3 – 4:30 PM ACES Library, Heritage Rm. Agenda: Present refined design options based on feedback from Meeting 1 and seek preferences.
IWRC intern/MLA Candidate Cameron Letterly will lead the sessions along with a facilitator to guide discussion.
There will be an opportunity to provide input online for those that cannot be present.
Please feel free to forward to invitation to others who have an interest in this garden.
C. Eliana Brown
33 NSRC, MC-635, 1101 W. Peabody Dr., Urbana, IL 61801 217-265-0760
The ECIMN Advisory Board meets on the third Monday of the month from 3-5 pm. Karen Folk and Eliana Brown will present the Red Oak Rain Garden as a requested site for approval as an official volunteer location for the Master Naturalists. Once Board approval is granted, Maddy Kangas will work to complete the MOU with F&S, similar to the Idea Garden agreement.
The effort could be set up in three phases: 1. Assessment 2. Renovation 3. Maintenance.
"I walk by that rain garden almost every day and have been picking up trash, etc. It would be great if we could get the original plan from Dr. Tony Endress that shows what was planted. From my observations, the rocks need replenished, possibly removal of fabric underlayment, and, if we had the plan, we could do a census of surviving plants. The Native Plant sale is coming up in May and if we had a plan by then, we could buy and plant replacements. I am willing to monitor when students aren't available and work with them in whatever capacity they are anticipating.
The Allen Hall Board of Activities (AHBOA) has interest in volunteering for this project. They would like to potentially help fund a new info sign since the one that was there is gone.
Community member, Karen Folk, inquired about the potential to establish the Red Oak Rain Garden as an official volunteer location for the Master Naturalists and Master Gardeners to help maintain. Eliana Brown, currently a Water Resources Outreach Specialist, asked Superintendent of Grounds, Ryan Welch. Ryan indicated that he would be willing to approve the volunteer program, and the first step is to define a Memo of Understanding (MOU) describing the volunteer work to be done. He said, "I am agreeable to this, as long as the work is done strictly by volunteers and there is a MOU for the maintenance responsibilities between F&S and the Master Gardeners."