See a December 2017 update below – with lots of pictures of the project!

Proposed Bioswale area at RCC
Proposed Bioswale area at RCC

Sustainable Rogue Valley, in conjunction with other funders, is planning to construct Raingardens and Bioswales on the Rogue Community College property in Grants Pass, Oregon. Raingardens are made to collect rainwater in ponds and maintain a healthy plant community while encouraging water to slow down and filter into the ground. They produce a pleasing environment while providing a vital function in the watershed. Plant communities can be focused on butterfly migration, bees and insects, as well as fire resistant plants.

Bioswales are made to collect rainwater runoff and filter through wetlands where unique wetland plants are growing. These plants will help break down pollutants such as oil from parking lots and roadways as they filter into the ground during runoff. Bioswales contain organic matter that acts as a sponge along with plants that hold and break down contaminants from impervious landscapes such as parking lots and roads.

The wetlands on RCC campus will collect runoff, filter and clean contaminants, and send the water downstream or into the ground to enter the natural drainage systems. There are several wetland sites planned in this project that will receive runoff in a series of bioswales designed around the existing culverts and drainage patterns. Signs posted onsite will explain the project and its goals, showing the pattern of runoff, types of wetland plants growing, and how this could help clean water and improve watershed health. We hope this demonstration site will inspire others to build Raingardens and Bioswales to improve water quality and beautify the landscape.

Sustainable Rogue Valley is an affinity group to the Grants Pass Universal Universalists, and is associated with Rogue Community College Faculty and Facilities Department. SRV has received funding from The Ashland Food Coop and is also applying for restoration grants from Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board through the Rogue Valley Small Grant Team. Support is sought from Rogue River Watershed Council as well as Rogue Basin Partnership, and the Rogue Community College Green Team. This will be a collaborative effort to bring communities together to show how sustainable practices can benefit everyone.

Future bioswale at RCC


Here’s are pictures taken this summer and fall of the progress on the Project. Chas Rogers has done an amazing job – not only writing the grants, but coordinating the work and DOING a huge amount himself!  We just had a big planting day before Thanksgiving and LOTS of folks showed up – RCC students as well as SRV members!

There is more to come as well (big boulders and more plants in early 2018), so check back from time to time to watch the progress!

Shaping the land
An unusual summer rain storm gave a nice test of the newly shaped waterway!
Digging out an old culvert
Chas – the rock guy!
Lovely mountains of wood chips to top dress it all
Coir bales to slow the flow of water down as it flows into newly created rocky spillway


Lots of help on the first Planting Day!


Newly installed full color metal interpretive Sign and some happy planters!
And the first good test of the flow…


Well done!