Kettle River Community Garden to show off drip irrigation and water conservation

Graham Watt
By Graham Watt
July 19th, 2013

The Kettle River Community Garden will soon be showing off how to use drip irrigation to save water and grow healthier plants, thanks to a grant from the Rotary Club of Grand Forks and the Rotary Foundation.

The grant enables the Community Garden to install a drip irrigation system and demonstrate water conservation techniques to the community in a public workshop on July 23.

“Residents of Grand Forks love to garden. But our large lots and watering practices mean we have very high domestic water use compared to other communities in the region,” said Graham Watt, Rotarian and volunteer with the Community Garden.

Home gardeners have many options for reducing water use, including building soil with mulch and compost, capturing rain water in barrels or changing irrigation practices.

Drip irrigation can reduce water use in the garden by up to 75%, and targets the needs of individual plants and crops such as watering the root zone of tomatoes instead of the leaves.

“The drip irrigation being installed in the community garden is a perfect example of a simple and effective way everyone can make a difference in water conservation,” said Grace McGregor, Rotarian and Chair of the Kettle River Watershed Management Plan Advisory Group.

Gardeners are looking forward to other benefits, too – according to Christine-Ann Baker, coordinator of the Kettle River Community Garden, “the drip irrigation will cut down on the weeds that are being watered with the overhead sprinklers.”

Y&R Water will install the system this week and help train garden members in using and maintaining the system.

“Each of the garden beds will have their own shut-off,” explains Mike Jones from Y&R. “Gardeners will then be able to fine-tune their beds with drip lines or spray emitters – it’s really easy to change it up during the growing season.”

“The Grand Forks Rotary Club is involved in many international and local projects in education, health care and other areas,” said Wayne Christensen of the Grand Forks Rotary Club. “We are very pleased to have a local project that contributes to water conservation and sustainability here in Grand Forks.”

The Rotary Foundation is matching the contribution of the Grand Forks club to the project under a District Community Grant.

“Water conservation, food security and wellness are all high priority issues for Grand Forks and the Boundary region as well as for The Rotary Foundation,” said Watt. “It’s great to support the community garden in meeting these needs.”

The Kettle River Community Garden and the Rotary Club of Grand Forks will host a free public workshop at the garden in the evening of July 23.

This workshop will show garden and community members how to use drip irrigation to conserve water and make gardening easier and more productive. Registration information and directions can be found at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/7445183745.



Christine-Ann Baker

Coordinator, Kettle River

Community Garden



Graham Watt

Rotary Club of Grand Forks




Wayne Christensen

Rotary Club of Grand Forks




Grace McGregor

Rotary Club of Grand Forks




Categories: General