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Workshops focus on rainwater

BY BECCA SCHIMMEL rschimmel@paducahsun.com

Instead of wishing for clear skies and hoping the rain goes away, the Jackson Purchase Foundation found a way to harness it.

A rain barrel workshop Thursday at the United Church of Paducah, 4600 Buckner Lane, showed people how to collect and use rain water.

Maggie Morgan, Four Rivers Basin coordinator for the Jackson Purchase Foundation, explained  the dangers of pollution in the groundwater and how having a rain barrel to collect and filter that water can help conserve water as well as protect creeks and rivers.

"We are so blessed with water here that we don't think about it, but conserving water is so important," Morgan said.

Organizers demonstrated where to cut the holes in the barrel: one close to the bottom of the barrel for a faucet, one near the top for overflow and another hole at the top to allow the water to go in. A screen was attached to the hole at the top to filter out debris and prevent mosquitoes from becoming a problem.

Kevin Murphy, president of Jackson Purchase Foundation, helped the participants make their barrels ready for rainfall.

"It makes people aware of how important water is to us," Murphy said. "It helps teach conservation methods."

Morgan said that this was the first time for the summer series. The series is done in three parts starting with the rain barrel workshop and including back yard conservation workshop and rain garden workshops.

The free back yard conservation workshop will be 9 a.m. to noon July 24 at the United Church of Paducah.

Topics will be ways to make a yard more ecological and wildlife friendly.

The rain garden workshop will be Aug. 14 at the Mayfield-Graves County Extension Service, 251 Housman St., and Aug. 15 in Benton at the Children's Art Center at 1202 Elm St. The topic will be what a rain garden is and how to plant one. It is $5 per person and requires pre-registration.

For more information, call 27-908-4545 or go to www.jpf.org/summer-conservation.html

Contact Becca Schimmel, a Paducah Sun staff writer at 270-575-8652.

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