Part I: Rain Gardens (from 1-2 pm) presented by Michelle Stowers from Tallgrass Restoration
Rain gardens are designed landscape sites that reduce the flow rate, total quantity, and pollutant load of runoff from impervious surfaces like roofs, driveways, walkways, parking lots, and compacted lawn areas.
Rain gardens rely on plants growing in a shallow basin of soil to slow down stormwater runoff, allowing more time for the water to soak into the soil. In doing this, rain gardens can help recharge the groundwater supply and improve water quality in nearby bodies of water. In urban and suburban areas, rain gardens reduce the amount of polluted runoff that enters the storm sewer system, which often discharges directly to nearby lakes or rivers, thereby reducing erosion, water pollution and flooding.
Rain garden plantings often incorporate native wildflowers, sedges, rushes, ferns and even shrubs or small trees. These plants take up nutrients and water that flow into the rain garden, and the deep roots of many native plants create channels that help stormwater filter into the ground. In addition, the use of native plants in rain gardens creates opportunities for pollinators and increases wildlife diversity.
Part II: Rain Barrels (from 2-3 pm) presented by Dave Bendlin from the Rock County Conservationists
A rain barrel is a simple water tank used to collect and store rain water collected from rooftops, gutters and downspouts. A typical rain barrel system can easily collect over 100 gallons of water from a quarter inch of rain off an average 1,000 sq. ft. roof.
Installed to make use of rain water for later use, rain barrels provide economic and environmental benefits, and aid self-sufficiency. The stored water may be used for watering gardens, flushing toilets, in washing machines, and washing cars, especially when other water supplies are unavailable or expensive. In arid climates, rain barrels are often used to store water during the rainy season for use during dryer periods.
This program will begin with an indoor presentation about the benefits, construction and limitations of rain barrels. If weather permits, this will be followed by an outdoor, hands-on installation of rain barrels at the Big Hill Center building, allowing participants to see the steps of a typical rain barrel installation.
Please register using the form below or call, so we know how many to expect. Thank you!