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Entities come together to help with stormwater retention at 911 building

LANETT — Volunteers with the Moores Creek Project, Chambers County 911 and students with the Chambers County Career Technical Center and Point University were helping to install a rain garden outside of the 911 building Monday.

Alex James, watershed coordinator with the Auburn University Extension water quality program, said there was already an existing stormwater basin outside of the 911 building and the idea on Monday was to retrofit the basin into a rain garden.

“The added mulch media and these roots penetrating through this soil profile will help promote infiltration of that stormwater into the ground,” she said. “We’re hoping that not only are we adding the aesthetic value, but we’re adding a little bit of functionality by being able to recharge the groundwater just that much more with this practice.”

Students with Point University prepped the site this week for the plants and students from the Career Tech Center who were honored by the Chambers County Commission recently for designing a rain garden that was involved Monday, were at the site to help install the rain garden.

James said by creating the rain garden, they are hoping to reduce the volume of stormwater that flows directly into Moores Creek. Although stormwater on its own isn’t bad, it’s everything that comes with it.

She said stormwater pick pollutants on its water to a drain, which goes straight to the creek.

“So, this rain garden is not only going to help us intercept the energy, but it can also help filter out pollutants,” James said. “The whole idea is just to try to change the way we think about stormwater. It’s not a hazard. It doesn’t have to be a hazard. It doesn’t have to be a nuisance. It can be a resource, and we can take advantage of that resource instead of just piping it straight to the creek.”

Chambers County Emergency Management Deputy Director Kathy Hornsby said the retainer pond at 911 building was built to help control the flooding problems in the neighborhood.

“And in it’s done a good job at helping with that,” she said. “You just don’t think about where do all the things off the tires go or other pollutants when it rains.”

After Monday, most of the work will be done, except for a few bigger plants to be planted.

Career Tech teacher JB Harris said it was good for his students to get out of the classroom and gain real-world experience.

“It’s a big trend with the horticulture industry,” he said. “It gives them exposure to the side of horticulture that was new to me as well. It gives them something that they’ve done for the community that hopefully 20 years from now, they will tell their kids about it.”