Gardening for Stormwater and Wildlife: How to Build a Rain Garden

Gardening for Stormwater and Wildlife: how to build a rain garden
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Have you considered adding a rain garden to your landscape to enhance its beauty, improve drainage and create wildlife habitat?  The lovely rain garden pictured above can be a part of your garden.  Wild About Ewing, a joint project of the Ewing Green Team and Environmental Commission, encourages you attend our presentation and learn more about gardening for wildlife and protecting our waterways at the same time.

Rain gardens can help us manage stormwater runoff from rooftops, driveways, lawns, roads, and other hard surfaces. They look like regular perennial gardens, but they are much more. During a storm, a rain garden fills with water, and the water slowly filters into the ground rather than running into storm sewers. By capturing stormwater, rain gardens help to reduce the impact of human activities and pollution in the environment such as road sediment/salt, fertilizers, pesticides, bacteria from pet waste, eroded soil, grass clippings, litter, etc. This helps protect the health of our waterways. Rain gardens also add beauty to neighborhood and provide wildlife habitat.

In this 1.5 hour evening workshop, homeowners can learn how to plan and plant their own raingarden, enhancing their property and their neighborhood! Now is a good time to plan a raingarden for planting this spring.

Presenter: Kory Kreiseder, Stormwater Specialist with The Watershed Institute. Kory has been with The Watershed Institute since April 2017 as the Stormwater Specialist with the Policy and Advocacy team as well as the Science and Stewardship team. Previously she spent three years as an urban conservation specialist for the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District, where she advised governments, businesses and residents on stormwater management issues. Currently, she is working with Hopewell Borough through on the restoration of the Beden Brook funded by a grant received from NJ Department of Environmental Protection. This project will install over 25 different green infrastructure practices including rain gardens, cisterns, porous paving, etc.

Date: Tuesday, May14
Time: 7 pm
Location: Ewing Senior and Community Center, 999 Lower Ferry Road, Ewing
Cost: Free and open to the public

New Environmental Insights Program to Be Held on June 10th

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