This post is a total plug on my part of an activity meant to encourage people to go out and get their hands dirty, improve their environment, and help nature at the same time: Rain gardens!
Gardening season is coming to an end for most of us, but it’s not too late to plant a rain garden for this winter’s torrents.
Rain gardens are becoming more popular, especially in places like Seattle with significant rain and run-off, and I suspect also because they’re very low maintenance; you simply plant, water them until they’re established, and let nature to the rest. They also make the neighborhood look nicer than just having a strip of grass between your car and the sidewalk.
The West Seattle neighborhood is actively encouraging residents to plant rain gardens:
The gardens are part of a campaign by Washington State University and the non-profit Stewardship Partners. Their goal is to install 12,000 rain gardens in Puget Sound communities by 2016. So far, more than 700 gardens have been installed (see a map of them) and more are being added every week.
“Twelve thousand gardens will absorb approximately 160 million gallons of stormwater each year,” said Stacey Gianas, who is with Stewardship Partners.
That much water would fill 250 Olympic swimming pools. And its stormwater, which washes over roofs and streets, picking up all kinds of pollution. Usually that contaminant-filled water runs into storm drains that empty into waterways and rivers.
Rain gardens can be as small as a couple of feet, or take up the entire yard. They also promote wildlife (the good kind!) to stop and visit.
- How to prevent stormwater runoff pollution on your property (environmentalgreen.wordpress.com)