Rain Gardens

Do you have an area on your property that floods routinely?  The answer to your problems may be your very own rain garden. Rain gardens provide a natural pathway for rain to easily return to the ground, eliminating that little lake in your yard. Creating a rain garden involves digging out the area, adding gravel underneath the soil to improve drainage, and planting water-tolerant species in the new bed.  Plant roots help to make the soil more permeable, allowing water to travel along the roots down into the ground.

Rain gardens are great for the environment.   In urban areas, rain travels along hard surfaces, transporting pollutants (like bacteria, chemicals, fuels, and heavy metals) to nearby water bodies.  Rain gardens minimize the amount of stormwater that needs to be managed, and they also allow the water to be filtered naturally on its way down to the aquifer.

For more information on this subject check out www.slowrain.ca.

On Saturday September 17th, 2011 Green Venture hosted a rain garden workshop. Using only native plants, participants helped to create one of these beautiful gardens at EcoHouse.  It is important to use native plants, as these are adapted to local climate and soil conditions.  Ontario boasts a variety of water tolerant native-species like Canada Anemone and Sedges.

The new EcoHouse rain garden is 420 square feet in area, and captures stormwater runoff from a drainage area of about 2000 square feet on the property. With approximately 30 inches of precipitation per year, this means our rain garden is diverting slightly more than 5000 cubic feet of precipitation EVERY YEAR.

Come and see it! It’s highly visible, being located right beside the street corner of Ambrose Avenue and Veevers Drive, and it works in conjunction with the also-recently-installed permeable paver driveway.

Thanks to everyone who came out last weekend, particularly the volunteers from Katimavik and the Girl Guides– we couldn’t have done it without you!

For more information about how to build a rain garden, contact water@greenventure.ca .

Participants learning about native trees used in rain garden

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