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WSU/Pend Oreille Extension introduced the Sense of Place series in 1999, with a focus on place-based stewardship education. Since 2001, a partnership with the Kalispel Tribe of Indians Natural Resources Department (KNRD) has supported this newsletter and allowed us to expand class offerings through EPA funding. Further staff support comes through Renewable Resources Extension Act (RREA). Our newest partner, sponsor of the Rain Garden Challenge, is the Pend Oreille Conservation District. Many thanks to our partners and to you, our readers, for your continued enthusiasm for "digging" into the natural history and culture ofthis part of the world.

Choosing Pend Oreille Rain Garden Plants

by Carol Mack

Pend Oreille precipitation does not come evenly through the year. Plants for our rain gardens need to be able to survive both saturated soils in the spring and the dry soils of late summer. That requirement eliminates much of the usual cast of landscape plants that come from areas with more even rainfall. But some of our Pend Oreille natives are adapted to exactly these conditions, thriving along the edges of vernal pools, seasonal creeks and other areas where runoff collects naturally. These plants are the logical backbone of the rain garden. If desired, they can be supplemented with non-native shrubs and flowers that might require occasional watering through the dry season. If those are grouped together within the rain garden and placed in the wettest zone, a minimal amount of extra water will keep them happy and green.

The actual plants we choose for our gardens will depend on many factors, including soil types, amount of sun or shade, and garden design. For a list of suitable plants and more information on rain gardening, be sure to attend one of the kick-off classes, or call Kathleen Werr at 447-4217 for an information packet. Monkey flower

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