The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 15, 2013

Carthage Council approves rain garden at Kellogg Lake

By Susan Redden

CARTHAGE, Mo. — A rain garden project approved for Kellogg Lake in Carthage will have a twofold mission.

Rain gardens are built to slow and filter water runoff before it reaches creeks or streams. A rain garden in the city park will do that, but the primary goal will be to educate residents and interest them in building a rain garden of their own, said Tony Moehr, director of the Jasper County Health Department.

The Carthage City Council on Tuesday authorized an agreement allowing the health department and local master gardeners to work together to build the rain garden. Moehr said he hopes the project can be ready by mid-June, in time for Kids Fishing Day at the lake.

“There will be a lot of people there and one of our main goals is to educate,” he said. “It would give people an opportunity to see a rain garden and how they work.”

A rain garden normally is a low area planted with vegetation to stabilize the soil.

“So much of the ground has roof and parking lots on it, so rainwater runoff goes really quickly into streams, with all the toxins and pollutants that are in that first gush of water,” Moehr said. “Rain gardens slow that down and filter the water before it goes into the river.”

The rain garden is a demonstration project of the Spring River Watershed Partnership, which recently received a grant to fund programs aimed at reducing the amount of pollution that flows into Spring River through Carthage.

The Kellogg Lake garden will filter water from one of the parking lots. Moehr said the project will include signs to explain rain gardens and how to build them. He said construction of the garden will be photographed and added to the health department website.

Under the project agreement, city crews will water the rain garden for the first year, until the plants are established, said Tom Short, city administrator.

In other action during Tuesday’s meeting, the council:

• Authorized applying for federal funds to operate the city’s taxi program.

• Advanced an ordinance to amend the city code to increase court costs by 50 cents and to add a $1 fee to go toward training court workers.

• Advanced a contract with Liberty Pyrotechnics to provide the city’s July Fourth fireworks display at a cost of $11,895.

• Approved appointments by Mayor Mike Harris naming Brian Schmidt and Ron Ross to the Carthage Water and Electric Board; Tracy Flanigan and Terry McDonald, to the Carthage Hospital Board; and Terri Coch, to the Powers Museum Board.

Skating competition

The council also approved a recommendation to allow a skating competition June 1 in Griggs Park. The event is being planned by local youths working with Carthage Caring Communities and the Carthage First Nazarene Church.