How to Design and Implement a Rain Garden in Your Landscape

Become Water Wise and Protect Our Native Species

If you can only do one thing for the environment this season we suggest reducing some of our vast suburban monoculture by removing some of your lawn and planting a garden. If you plant a rain garden near a downspout to intercept roof runoff  and filled with native plants; even better.   It will help to slow the flood of storm water, reduce erosion, and absorb pollutants.  The birds, bees and butterflies will also repay your hard work by appearing regularly and pollinating your landscape.  And then enjoy the fun of watching wildlife up close!

What Are Rain Gardens?

Rain gardens are plantings that are specifically designed to soak up rain water from roofs, from driveways, parking lots, and lawns. When it rains, the rain garden fills with a few inches of water and allows the water to slowly seep into ground filtering out pollutants such as fertilizer, pesticides, and oil, rather than having it run into the waterways or storm drains. This purifies the water and lets it replenish the aquifer rather than having it flow unfiltered into streams, lakes or the ocean. The ground should not remain wet, but should dry in a day or so of fair weather. It is planted with native shrubs and flowers that can tolerate wet or dry conditions and add to the beauty of the neighborhood and attract wildlife.

Rain Gardens not only beautify your landscape, but also serve practical environmental purposes. Their interception of water runoff from impervious surfaces provides a number of benefits for your landscape. It acts to minimize the volume and improve the quality of water entering conventional storm drains and nearby streams. It also works to minimize soil erosion. It helps you provide a habitat for wildlife which can be sorely lacking in home gardens. And finally, the volume and quality of water is better whether it is absorbed in or leaves a rain garden.

Lindsay Blanton, our 2013/2014 AmeriCorps Watershed Ambassador at NJDEP, will present using training materials created by Rutgers University.  She will teach the basic steps to building and maintaining this simple, proven and inexpensive solution to the problem of storm water pollution.

Date: Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Hollowbrook Community Center, Nutrition Room, 320 Hollowbrook Dr, Ewing Township, NJ 08638
Cost:  Free and Open to the Public