Did you know that SOU has a bioswale?
Bioswale? What is a bioswale?
A bioswale is a biofilter that collects and removes pollutants from a parking lot using natural elements similar to the way a wetland purifies water. Plants, rocks, soil, and microscopic organisms filter pollutants out of the water before it enters our streams. Bioswales are important because they help protect water quality and prevent storm water runoff through the water infiltration and absorption process.
Cars leak oil and release other harmful chemicals:
When it rains, storm water sweeps these pollutants off the parking lot and into this bioswale. The bioswale plants and bacteria that live in their roots, can take up and break-down these harmful chemicals into their basic, non-toxic elements.
Sediments settle-out as water slows:
As water flows off the parking lot, it picks up sand, soil and other large pollutants. But as the water pools in the bioswale the heavier particles in the water settle to the bottom of the pools, allowing cleaner and clearer water to flow into our streams.
Bioswales protect our watershed:
Without this bioswale, the pollutants from the parking lot would accumulate in storm water, enter our storm drains, and then flow directly to Bear Creek! Our bioswale helps remove these pollutants, creating a healthier watershed for fish, birds, animals, insects, plants and people.
We have specific native plants planted in the bioswale, because native plants are adapted to local conditions! Some of these plants include Douglas Spirea and Idaho Fescue. These plants have adapted to local conditions such as temperature, water, soil, and pollinators.
Temperature: Since temperature fluctuates so much in the Rogue Valley, native plants are a must since they can tolerate the frosty winters and hot summers.
Water: These plants have deep root systems to reach for water and thick leaves that prevent evaporation since the summers tend to be very dry.
Soil: Botanical diversity is prevalent in the Rogue Valley, since the unique geology includes soils from volcanic to serpentine soils.
Pollinators: Native pollinators exist here that evolved along with native plants, to create complex relationships with birds and insects!
Come check out our bioswale, located next to the parking lot on Stadium St. and Webster St., across from the Outdoor Program and Raider Village!