Homeowners across the country are catching on to rain gardens – landscaped areas planted with wild flowers and native vegetation that soak up rain water runoff from buildings and concrete patios and driveways. Today, they are even experimenting with porous driveway surfaces that allow absorption of rain water to aid in reducing storm water runoff.
Why are rain gardens important? As cities and suburbs grow and replace forests and agricultural land, increased storm water runoff from impervious surfaces has become a problem for our natural habitat and drinking water sources. storm water runoff from these areas increases flooding, carries pollutants from streets, parking lots and lawns into local streams and lakes.
By reducing storm water runoff, rain gardens become a valuable part of our personal and community effort to protect our environment. While an individual rain garden may seem like a small thing, collectively they produce substantial neighborhood and community environmental benefits. Rain gardens work in several ways:
- Increasing the amount of water that filters into the ground, which recharges local and regional aquifers;
- Helping protect communities from flooding and drainage problems;
- Helping protect streams and lakes from pollutants carried by urban runoff – lawn fertilizers and pesticides, oil and other fluids from streets and driveways, and numerous substances that wash off roofs;
- Enhancing the beauty of yards and neighborhoods;
- Providing valuable habitat for birds, butterflies and many beneficial insects.
For your convenience, we have provided a copy of the Iowa Rain Garden Design and Installation Manual.
We want to encourage businesses and residents to be good stewards of our environment and include rain gardens in their landscaping
Send us photos of your rain garden and we will post them on this site!