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