Our Mission:

Our Mission: To enable individuals and communities to take an active part in the cultivation of systems that provide the highest quality fruits, vegetables, herbs and other yields, in a way that benefits themselves, cares for the land and environment, and provides a surplus to use, share and reinvest into the system.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Public Stormwater Initiatives & Rain Gardens

As cities have grown, more and more forest and agricultural land has been converted to housing developments, shopping malls and office parks.  With more and more parking lots, streets and rooftops, their impervious surfaces have caused more and faster runoff, promoting erosion and flooding.  Another major side effect of this increased runoff is carrying pollutants directly to local streams and lakes.  Without the filtering effect of healthy porous soil, runoff laden with automotive pollutants, sediment, bacteria and even lawn chemicals and fertilizers negatively impact water quality. 

Many municipalities in Iowa are now promoting stormwater best management practices (BMPs) to reduce the amount of runoff associated with rain events. 

The local ecosystems of prairie, wetlands and forests were very good at infiltrating rainfall, with very little runoff.  Deep roots allowed for percolation; soils high in organic matter held on to moisture. 

Rain Gardens
Rain Gardens are generally one of the stormwater best management practices encouraged by local governments.  These landscape features can integrate many aspects of these native ecosystems which can help with:
  • Increasing rainwater that filters into the ground, which recharges local and regional aquifers;
  • Preventing flooding and drainage problems;
  • Protecting streams and lakes from pollutants carried by stormwater with lawn fertilizers and pesticides, oil and other automotive pollutants, and numerous other harmful substances that wash off roofs and paved areas;
  • Enhancing the beauty of yards and neighborhoods;
  • Providing habitat for birds, butterflies and many beneficial insects.

These are pictures from a recent Rain Garden installation by Abundant Design.
Checking the infiltration rate of the soil
Rain gardens are sized based on surface area and infiltration

Marking the layout
Downspouts were piped to the garden

The machine sped up the rough digging process...
...and the final work done by hand.
the laser level was used for the basin floor

Almost done

Rain gardens are one way you can help the environment and enhance the beauty and functionality of your landscapes.

Have a great week!

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