Miller Ecological Park's New Rain Garden

Rain Gardens

A rain garden is a planted depression that allows rainwater runoff from impervious areas, like driveways, walkways, parking lots, and compacted lawn areas, the opportunity to be absorbed rather than dumped directly to a storm sewer. The rain garden slows down the rush of water and reduces rain runoff by allowing storm water to soak into a shallow, constructed depression that is planted with deep-rooted native plants & grasses. This allows time for the rainwater to naturally infiltrate into the ground. 

Rain gardens are a beautiful and colorful way for parks, businesses, private homeowners and municipalities to help ease storm water problems and pollution. Rain gardens can cut down on the amount of pollution reaching creeks and streams by up to 30%.

Rain gardens differ from retention basins, in that the water will infiltrate the ground within a day or two. This short retention period creates the advantage that mosquitoes will not have the time to breed.

 Rain Gardens lead to better Water Quality When rain falls on undeveloped land like fields and forests, it percolates into the soil gradually, recharging the streams and aquifer. Hard surfaces like roads and pavement are impermeable; therefore, rain cannot soak through these layers into the ground. Instead, water flows directly into water bodies increasing the risk of flooding, erosion, and pollution by quickly adding water to these systems while reducing the amount of water percolating into the ground to recharge the aquifer. Storm water runoff from impermeable surfaces reduces water quality by increasing the amount of pollutants and sediments entering the water system. Pollutants such as oil, trash, chemicals, and other sediments are conveyed by the runoff into our streams and water bodies. The increased velocity of storm water runoff from impermeable areas will also increase erosion along stream banks, which will add sediment to the water ways. All of these factors decrease the quality of our streams and lakes, and we cannot live without water. To provide additional filtration of the water from a permeable/non-permeable parking lot pavement, the storm water runoff is directed to flow into a rain garden. A rain garden is a shallow, constructed depression that is planted with deep-rooted native plants and grasses. It is designed to receive the storm water from paved impermeable/permeable surfaces. The Miller Ecological Park rain garden consists of over 10 native plants and grasses. This rain garden further filters pollutants out of the water before it enters the streams, and all allows the water to in filtrate into the ground. By constructing this rain garden, we are doing our part to reduce pollution and preserve our water systems while at the same time creating habitat for birds and beneficial insects.