Homeowners in many parts of the country are catching on to rain gardens – landscaped areas planted with wild flowers and other native vegetation that soak up rain water, coming from a roof, driveway or other impervious surface. In a storm, the rain garden fills with a few inches of water which slowly filters into the ground rather than running off into storm drains. Compared to a conventional patch of lawn, a rain garden allows about 30% more water to soak into the ground. Why are rain gardens important?
As cities and suburbs grow and replace forests and agricultural land, increased stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces becomes a problem. Stormwater runoff from developed areas increases flooding, carries pollutants from streets, parking lots and even lawns into local streams and lakes, and leads to costly municipal improvements in stormwater treatment plants.
By reducing stormwater runoff, rain gardens can play a valuable part in changing these trends. While one individual rain garden may seem like a small thing, collectively they produce substantial neighborhood and community environmental benefits.
Rain gardens work for us in several ways:
Increasing the amount of water that filters into the ground, recharging local and regional aquifers;
Helping protect communities from flooding and drainage problems;
Helping protect streams and lakes from pollutants carried by urban storm water – lawn fertilizers and pesticides, oil and other fluids that leak from cars, and numerous harmful substances that wash off roofs and paved areas;
Enhancing the beauty of yards and neighborhoods; Providing valuable habitat for birds, butterflies and many beneficial insects.
source: University of California, Sonoma Master garden Program
to be continued…How to design Your rain garden?