Recently, Wellfield staff and volunteers installed a new rain garden on the north side of the Garden’s new seasonal restroom building. We are collecting the rainwater off the roofs of the restroom and surrounding buildings and draining them to a dry well. The rain water from five different roof surfaces all drain to the same number of square feet. Slowing the flow of water down and storing water for reuse are critical steps to take as the amount of urban impervious surfaces increase.
Water rushing off the land into swelling rivers overwhelms stream channels, contributing to flash flooding, etc. Rather than contend with a lot of runoff, we are turning a problem into a beautiful solution. Rain gardens and dry wells collect water entering the property via the sky lanes above, slow it down and allow the precipitation time to percolate into the soil rather than running off.
For those who are interested, Elkhart County Soil and Water Conservation District has great information on their rain barrel and garden incentive program on their site (click link for more info). The program offers “homeowners who qualify…reimburse up to $250 for rain garden plants and up to $50 per rain barrel (maximum two rain barrels per parcel).”
Josh Steffen, Horticulture and Facilities Manager
2 thoughts on “Rain Garden Installed”
The incentive program is awesome! I wish they’d offer something like that where I live. 🙂
Some of these rain gardens can get a bit ridiculous. New development in some communities requires that all runoff from roof surfaces remain on site. Not only is it impractical, but it it unnatural. The local creeks rely on some degree of runoff. It will take a while and a lot more development before the collection of runoff exceeds the enhancement of runoff from all the pavement, but it is not going in a good direction. Although my former home in town generated significant (enhanced) runoff from the roof and pavement and roadway in front, I would not expect newer homes to compensate for it.
My other home was designed to divert runoff into densely landscaped material where it was dispersed to either soak in or flow away. In that manner, the small roof did not generate significantly more runoff than the area would have generated naturally. There were no gutters on the home, just dense vegetation under big eaves to prevent the water from splashing up onto walls.