Wednesday, 5 June 2013

What is a Rain Garden and Why build one?

Rain gardens function as a stormwater absorption and filtration site.  They are beneficial to the local environment by improving water quality and absorbing excess runoff. Rain gardens function by directing stormwater into a plant-filled channel or shallow depression filled with a variety of native plants.  A berm or raised edge at the lower end of the rain garden prevents the water from spilling out.  This allows the water to slowly filter into the soil instead of running out into the streets and down storm drains.  Besides all these environmental benefits, they are beautiful and for the most part they water themselves!
What are the benefits of a rain garden?
  • Absorbs 30% more water than a patch of grass.
  • Helps reduce stormwater runoff.
  • Enhances the aesthetic appeal of your property
  • Provides habitat for birds and other critters.
  • Recharges groundwater aquifers
  • Improves the water quality of your community.
  • The plants’ root networks will stabilize the soil on your property and reduce erosion.
  • Plants provide a buffer to winds, acting as wind-break for your property.
These photos show the stages of construction of a rain garden.  This rain garden was built in September 2012 at the George Dixon Centre in the North End of Halifax.

For an overview of rain garden, please visit our previous article on rain gardens

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