Rain gardens are areas created to allow community rain water drainage to discharge to groundwater. This is a desirable alternative to overloading storm sewers with huge volumes of rain run-off. In a traditional stormwater system, rainwater goes directly into a local stream, carrying a load of fertilizer, pesticides, oil, gas, and other pollutants. A rain garden (bio-retention pond) can be constructed to naturally remove most of the pollutants from stormwater run-off.
Rain gardens are either left to evolve in a natural wild condition, or can be planted with attractive, moisture-loving wildflowers, shrubs, and trees. Some of our most beautiful natural wildflowers will thrive if planted in a rain garden.
Any rain garden, large or small, will enhance the landscape and help to reduce storm water processing costs, in addition to protecting surface water quality. A rain garden planted with native species will have additional value as wildlife habitat.
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Here are a number of online resources for more information on creating a rain garden.