Introduction to Rain Gardens focused on the Great Lakes (by WMEAC)
A rain garden is a garden in a low spot that catches and slows storm water from downspouts, driveways, parking lots, and roads and allows it to infiltrate into the soil with the help of deep-rooted plants that like water. The garden is planted in a shallow basin as part of an area’s landscaping plan and will actually filter pollutants from the runoff that it captures and absorbs. Rain gardens can be designed in all shapes and sizes and may include formally arranged plants, fields of wildflowers, stone culverts and paths, and other beautiful features.
Why Do We Use Rain Gardens?
Rain gardens are used to emulate the drainage system found in nature prior to development. They promote infiltration of rainfall into the soils and uptake of rain through plantings. Rain gardens provide storm water storage, water quality improvement, wildlife habitat, and neighborhood beautification.
Rain Gardens Mimic Natural Conditions by:
Slowing runoff near sources
Maintaining natural hydrology
Application using an existing catch basin - Not representative of a typical homeowner's rain garden