SFEP Small Grant SG#05 – Napa Community Rain Garden

Small Grant 2013 – Building a Community Rain Garden on the Vintage High School Campus

Small Grant: $5,000

The Napa County Flood Control and Water Conservation District (District), working in collaboration with the Napa Resource Conservation District (RCD) and the Napa Unified School District, successfully constructed a 13,000 square foot rain water garden on the Vintage High School Campus in the Salvador Creek watershed, a tributary watershed in the Napa River watershed.
The project is ongoing and will continue to expand as students, classes and environmental clubs on campus take on the long-term management of the garden. In preparation for the project the District and RCD held a Rain Water Garden Workshop lead by Bay Friendly Landscaping and Gardening Coalition. At the workshop attendees learned about the fundamental elements and functions of a rain water garden and developed preliminary designs for the Vintage High School Rain Water Garden.

SFEP Small Grants Program provided funding to cover the cost of the drainage rock, compost, mulch, hauling of materials and earth work. The work completed with these funds entailed three days of grading to contour the site to conform to rain garden guidelines, placement of drainage rock around the drain and in the bio-swales, and the spreading of compost and wood chips to improve infiltration and soil conditions for native plants.

This project is unique in that it is linking the function of the rain garden directly to the health of the creek and watershed in a way that people can see, interact with, and learn from. The garden will improve the public’s awareness of stormwater pollution while engaging a diverse group of community members in a collaborative project designed to improve water quality and the ecological functions of Salvador Creek.

Photos by the Napa County Flood Control and Water Conservation District