The Wildlife and Rain Garden at Cobb County Water System was created in 2004 for educational purposes, specifically to demonstrate storm water pollution prevention, with plantings designed to provide habitat to pollinators and urban wildlife. Many native species and specific butterfly host and nectar plants have been installed to showcase how-to attract animals to the landscape and provide a public space where people can see how rain and wildlife gardens can be created, maintained, and utilized. Visitors can observe pollinators utilizing this urban space, learn about citizen science projects they can participate in, and better understand the land ethic and recommended stewardship practices.

The project provides both an effective stormwater drainage system and a horticultural education resource to the community through our programs and activities. We like to take opportunities to integrate education sessions into our workdays that showcase seasonally applicable phenomena relevant to our site. For example, as the Monarch migration occurs this fall, we talk about different aspects of butterfly biology and ecology including life cycles, migration, and rearing. Activities like these serve to educate volunteers about the site and the programs offered to the community. We schedule hands-on field trips for school and scout groups, facilitate continuing education programs for teachers in our garden, and are open for passive use 24/7 to local patrons visiting the facility. We also accept volunteer assistance from non-Master Gardeners as part of both service learning projects and those seeking to donate their time. Regardless of the reason for visiting the Wildlife and Rain Garden, those that come learn something of local ecology.

We are located across the railroad tracks from the UGA Cobb County Extension Office in the Cobb County Water System Customer Service complex, behind the Water Quality Lab, and is accessible 24/7. Please stop by to explore anytime. And you are welcome to join us on Thursday mornings.

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