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April First Saturday: Earth Day Rally Since we can't gather in person, lets celebrate First Saturday virtually!

We are disappointed and saddened by cancellation of April and May First Saturdays. While we recognize this is necessary to protect the health of our community, it is still difficult. To keep our community connected and to continue to celebrate the tradition of First Saturdays, we have created a virtual experience for Earth Day Rally! Hope you all enjoy, stay safe and healthy. - Ridgefield First Saturdays Team

This virtual experience includes:

  • Learn: Clark County watersheds and your role in Stormwater
  • Learn: Recycle Often and Recycle Right
  • Craft: Make a Mason Bee House with Recycled Materials
  • Adventure: Go-Green Scavenger Activity

April showers bring may flowers

But where does all the water go? It is either absorbed into soil, or becomes what we call stormwater. Stormwater is rainfall, snowmelt, or any precipitation, that is not absorbed into the soil. It runs off rooftops, over sidewalks, down street curbs and across parking lots, and eventually enters our local streams, creeks, and river. Before it reaches these components of our watershed it can potentially pick up contaminants that are detrimental to our ecosystem. 

What is a watershed?

When it rains, the water hits something and either seeps into the ground, evaporates into the air or moves across the surface downhill. It eventually makes it's way to the nearest water body (e.g. wetland, creek, stream, river or lake). A watershed is the area that drains into a specific water body. Clark County has ten major watersheds that eventually drain to the Columbia River. To learn about these different watersheds, check out the new interactive StoryMap available from Stormwater Partners!

When you are done exploring, return here to learn how you can help protect the health of our watershed through stormwater management.

where does your rainwater go?

What happens to rain water when it falls on your home? Can the water soak into the ground?

  • How much water that falls on your property can soak into the ground?
  • If it can't soak in, where does the water go?

Water that isn't soaked into the ground, evaporated, or collected for re-use, may eventually drain into a storm drain.

stormwater pollution

Storm drains lead directly to our local creeks, streams, rivers and lakes untreated. Everything that goes in the drain ends up as pollution in our waterways. Common pollutants that enter storm drains includes:

  • Soap bubbles from car wash
  • Pet waste
  • Oily sheen (grease, oil, gas)
  • Chemicals
  • Trash & Litter

you can help

Residents can help maintain shared stormwater facilities and protect the health of our streams by managing the quality of rainwater that flows off their property.

  • Keep leaves, clippings, bark dust and soil on your property.
  • Reduce fertilizer, herbicides and pesticide use.
  • Plant native or Pacific Northwest-friendly trees and plants; remove invasive plant species.
  • Sweep patios, driveways and other paved areas rather than hose them off. Bag or compost debris. Don't sweep them into the street.
  • Take your vehicle to a commercial car wash that treats and recycles water.
  • Make sure wastewater from washing the exterior of your home or roof is not discharged into the street.
  • Dispose of yard and lawn trimmings properly such as composting, recycling, or yard debris pick-up.
  • Install permeable surfaces for sidewalks, patios and driveways.
  • Collect roof runoff in a rain barrel and use for watering plants and garden.

For more information about stormwater and to learn about rain gardens, native plants, and natural gardening visit StormwaterPartners.com

recycle today for a better tomorrow

Recycle right!

Have an item you don't know how to Recycle? Visit RecyclingA-Z.com!

Recycling turns things into other things. Which is like MAGic!

craft time!

The Mason Bee: A Gentle Pollinator

Mason bees are named from their habit of making compartments of mud in their nests, which are made in hollow reeds or holes in wood made by wood-boring insects. They do not hive, so the females need nests to lay eggs. It is very easy to build a house for a Mason bee.

Mason bees come out earlier than honey bees and do not sting. You can help them to play their role in pollinating by building a nest for these native bees, using recycled materials!

Make a Mason bee House

Materials

  • Medium size can (Make sure to grind the edges of the can, they can be sharp.)
  • 2 rolls of toilet paper (empty)
  • Sheets of paper
  • Gorilla glue (or other kid-friendly glue)
  • Tape
  • Paint or other materials to decorate the tin can (optional)

Directions

  1. Decorate the can as desired. (optional)
  2. Create litter paper rolls. Measure the length of your can and cut your paper in a way that the length of the paper roll will fit inside the can. The band of paper should be about 5 inches long (half the length of a sheet of paper). The goal is to have a roll of 5 layers minimum. Cut the paper as efficiently as you can. Roll the paper around a pencil to get the right shape, then tape the edge of the paper band to the roll to keep the diameter, remove the pencil. Create rolls of 1/4in up to 1/2in. You will need about 30 rolls, depending on the size of your tin can and paper rolls.
  3. Place the rolls inside the can. You can apply a thin layer of glue at the bottom of your can. Place your 2 toilet paper rolls where you wish inside the can and fill up the empty space with your paper rolls. Once done shake your can slightly and make sure that everything stays in place. Add more glue at the bottom or more paper rolls to keep things sturdy if needed.
  4. Find a location. The new mason bee house needs to be in an open, sunny spot which isn't shaded by plants, about 3 ft from the ground. The fixing must be secure - the can shouldn't flap and move about in the wind. Birds and bees don't mix, so make sure not to install your bee house near any birdhouses.

Go adventure

Go Green on this Scavenger Hunt! You can make a green impact even while observing social distancing. Complete this in your home, yard and/or in your neighborhood. Each step you take toward more sustainable living leads to a greener world! Please remember, you are FINDING these things, NOT collecting. Leave nature be.

  • Find Something Green
  • Find a Pollinator
  • Find a Wild Animal
  • Find an Animal's Home
  • Find Something Growing
  • Find a Gardening or Cleaning Tool
  • Turn Off a Light
  • Find a Reusable Object
  • Find Something Made from Recycled Material
  • Check Your Recyling Bin for Compliance

thank you for joining us for this first virtual first saturday

Join us again next month for even more activities and a more interactive experience. Continue to watch Ridgefield First Saturdays and City of Ridgefield on Facebook for updates and community resources and ideas.

Credits:

Created with images by Francesco Gallarotti - "untitled image" • michael podger - "Spring showers" • Karim Sakhibgareev - "untitled image" • Geetanjal Khanna - "untitled image" • Launde Morel - "untitled image"