Lewis and Clark National Historical Park has become a regional demonstration site for storm water treatment. On February 8, in collaboration with Oregon Sea Grant, the park completed a rain garden to channel run-off from the visitor center roof through a constructed stream channel and into the tidal section of the Lewis and Clark River.
The rain garden was designed and built by Colby and Robin Weathers of Native Landscape Design and uses native plants, downed wood and rock and stone from the park. Park carpenter Dick Halverson created the downspout and supports from downed red alder.
“This project is highly visible,” said Rob Emmanuel from Oregon Sea Grant. “What better place to put a storm water demonstration project than in front of a national park visitor center? We hope visitors and regional residents will be inspired to undertake similar projects.”
Because it of its location Columbia River estuary, the park has been able to play a critical role in estuary restoration. South Clatsop Slough, an 80-acre site re-connected to the estuary in 2007, is one of 4 reference sites being used to study the success of estuary restoration. The park’s Otter Point site will be the first levee realignment in the US Army Corps of Engineers Portland District to go through the Corps’ post-Katrina review process and is expected to be a model for other levee realignments. Other projects include restoration of the 300 acre Perkins Creek watershed in 2009 and planned improvements to the Megler Creek watershed.