Our Water: Southside Recreation Center garden program watered entirely with captured rainwater


System can hold 17,500 gallons in total

SAN ANGELO, Texas – San Angelo’s Southside Recreation Center has many programs to benefit San Angeloans young and old. One of their newer programs is quite innovative in its gathering, use and conservation of water. Each time it rains the roof of the rec center building gathers 1,400 gallons for every inch of rainfall which the tanks along the side of the building hold. All of that water goes to sustain the garden space, with no need for municipal water.

“We’re building a children’s garden and our hope is to get kids out so they can learn how to garden [and] how to preserve wildlife habitat and to conserve water while they’re doing it,” explained Susan Stanfield, President of People Plant Connection. “We were very blessed to get a wonderful couple of grants from the San Angelo Area Foundation, and we have five, 3,000 gallon tanks, that feed off the recreation center. We water the garden with that. We have a 2,500 gallon tank here that was also provided by the area foundation.”

The gardening and water catching program has already received recognition from the Texas Water Development Board via their Texas Rain Catcher Awards, and Stanfield is excited to push the program further and expand. “This is our first garden for the whole project,” Stanfield said. “The next garden will be [adjacent to the first] and it will be an accessible garden for people who like me can’t get down on the hands and knees anymore — everything will be raised beds.”

Thursday, October 8, 2020, there will be a rainwater harvesting seminar hosted by Stanfield. We will have more information about the seminar, including how to sign up, in next week’s Our Water.

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San Angelo is in standard conservation, which restricts outside watering to twice every seven days at no more than 1 inch per week. Watering is prohibited between noon and 6:00 p.m., but runoff of more than 150 feet down any street, gutter, alley or ditch is prohibited.

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