We have a few exciting garden updates from this past week.
First, facilities management has finally dug up the grassy hillside adjacent to the garden and we can now begin planning the garden expansion into that area. We’re thinking a corn maze would be pretty awesome to plant there, so stay tuned for more about that.
The other bit of news is that on Friday, Nancy, Emily, and met up with Olivia, a third year engineering student and member of the UVa Stormwater Water Task Force, to talk about options for harvesting rainwater and managing the runoff that washes out the garden after every rain event.
First we discussed the possibility of capturing water from the surrounding building roofs, but since they all have interior downspouts, we can’t easily collect rainwater this way. Next, we discussed creating a well where the water collected in the stormwater drains around Hereford is released (on the other side of Hereford Drive). But this option would require electricity to run a pump that would pump water from the well up to the garden space. Finally, we discussed using part of the upper garden as a raingarden and using an underground cistern and pump to capture water and slowly release it down a series of terraces towards the garden. We have discussed the terracing of that hillside in the past, including the addition of stairs to make it easier to access the garden from the upper terrace.
Next steps include drawing up some sketches for ideas of how this might look and setting up a follow-up meeting with the Stormwater Task Force to discuss these ideas.