WHAT IS A RAIN GARDEN
A rain garden is specially designed and strategically placed to capture and clean stormwater. The surface is planted with native plants above several layers of drainage materials that help remove contamination from incoming stormwater before reaching nearby streams and rivers.
Projects like this are considered ‘green infrastructure’. They help to reduce elevated levels of pollution in our waterways, keeping our local water clean and protecting the health and safety of our community.
WHY BUILD A RAIN GARDEN
During a heavy rainstorm, water quickly washes into the streets from sidewalks, parking lots, and lawns. This water is often polluted with pesticides, fertilizers, and petrochemicals from surrounding impervious surfaces. Rain gardens can capture and filter the stormwater; as the water percolates through the compost and mulch, pollutants and sediments are filtered out, nutrients are used by plants, and pesticides are broken down by microorganisms.
The seed and nectar of the native plants provide a valuable food source for birds, butterflies, and beneficial insects.
A rain garden can help reduce flooding and increase aquifer recharge. Compared to a conventional lawn rain gardens allow 30% more water to soak into the ground.
HOW CAN NORTH JERSEY RC&D HELP?
Building your own rain garden can be a fun and low-cost project.