The National Capital Region Watershed Stewards Academy is a program of several regional environmental groups (including the organization I work for, Anacostia Watershed Society) aimed at developing insight and skills in community leaders to help raise awareness about and address watershed issues. You can read their info sheet on the project after the jump, but I clipped the basics below:
What is a Rain Garden?All photos courtesy Jorge A. Mera from www.NewWhiteScreen.com
Rain gardens capture runoff and pollution from roads, parking lots and roofs and allow stormwater to slowly soak into the ground. Rain gardens use special sandy soils to promote water infiltration and feature deep- rooted native plants adapted to dry and wet conditions. In addition, rain gardens filter the toxins and oil and gas that are especially common in the first inch of rainwater that washes over polluted surfaces, like roads. Because rain gardens are planted with native plants, wildlife habitat is enhanced attracting beneficial birds, butterflies and insects.
The Mt. Rainier Nature Center rain garden is a capstone project for three Prince George’s County residents in efforts to reduce stormwater and pollution from entering the Northwest Branch and Anacostia River, with the aim of improving the health of these waterways. This project will promote ground water recharge in the Anacostia watershed while acting as a demonstration project and educational resource at the Mt. Rainier Nature Center.
|Volunteers plant water loving native plants in the rain garden|