Club Learns about Cleaner Water, Native Plants

The Alameda Boys and Girls Club members recently got a lesson on how to treat toxic storm runoff and prevent it from polluting the bay. As a result, they built and planted a garden that would naturally assist in the removal of toxins in draining water. The club launched the "Bioremediation Garden and Community Clean-up Project" more than a year ago at the Alameda Island Watershed located on its premises.

Automobile fluids flowed into the garden during rains, seriously harming its plants and other living objects, because of the garden’s low-lying location.

A grant from the Clean Water Program that works to foster local compliance with the Federal Clean Water Act allowed the club to enhance its garden’s ecosystem. Treating contaminated storm water through its bioremediation area minimizes storm water parking lot runoff from entering the garden.

Club members created a bioremediation area by removing all existing soil and replacing it with a well-draining, biologically-active mix of sand and compost. Then they planted California native plants in raised beds.

Now the garden catches and naturally strains the polluted storm water onsite, protects the local watershed and helps reduce toxic flow into the Bay.

As part of the program, youth members participated in weekly classes to learn about benefits of bioremediation, climate, California native plants and general maintenance of a garden.

Youth and staff also participated in two litter pick-ups at the club and surrounding neighborhoods. With support from the Clean Water Program, the Alameda Boys and Girls Club members now offer daily tours of the bioremediation garden.

Call the Boys & Girls Club at 522-4900 to learn more about the tour and the program.