Funk Heritage Center Water-Wise Landscape Program
In Partnership with the Upper Etowah River Alliance
The Funk Heritage Center in partnership with the Upper Etowah River Alliance is encouraging the community to learn about water conservation and reducing pollution from storm water runoff. The Xeriscape Landscape at the Center was developed as an outdoor learning environment. It demonstrates how to create a drought-resistant landscape which will require little watering.
"We share a common commitment with the Alliance to provide educational opportunities for children and adults to learn about water conservation and how to address water-related environmental concerns,” said Dr. Joseph Kitchens, executive director of the Funk Heritage Center. “Our landscape includes plants native to Georgia and systems to filter and retain water on site."
People have been using the Etowah River water and the fertile lands surrounding it for thousands of years. This valuable source of water is key in shaping the history of northern Georgia. The first inhabitants lived as hunters and gatherers along the floodplain during the Mississippian Period, and they depended on the floodplains to nourish their crops of corn, pumpkins and beans. They supplemented these foods with game, nuts and fish from the river. Many native plants used by Southeastern Indians for medicinal purposes are identified in our Native Garden. Visitors not only enjoy a lovely nature walk, they can learn how Native Americans used and protected their environment.
A rain garden was built to filter storm water from the roof into a rain garden and away from the building. Previously, the rainwater caused erosion.
Rain Garden Information
Rain gardens serve several purposes. They reduce the amount of storm water entering a municipal storm water system. They also reduce runoff velocity which helps protect stream channels and cleans pollutants from the water as it filters through the plants and ground. Rain gardens work environmental wonders and add beauty to a landscape. The Center features three rain gardens and provides information on how to install. them. Rainchains direct water from the roof into the rain gardens. For additional information, contact the Upper Etowah River Alliance at http://www.etowahriver.org/.