Did you know your pollinator garden can be a rain garden as well? Rain gardens help to decrease the amount of urban runoff, by capturing, slowing, and filtering the free flowing water that occurs after a heavy rainfall.
The University of Georgia EcoScapes Sustainable Land Use Program has collaborated with the University of Connecticut and a team representing 13 states, to develop a free app to help homeowners, landscapers and contractors design, install and maintain rain gardens.
Rain gardens are designed with native, water loving plants in mind, and with a particular focus on plants that can handle high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous that may leach into the soil from the runoff.
So why do we need rain gardens in Atlanta? Because metropolitan urban areas have a large number of impervious surfaces such as driveways, and roads which lead to an increase in runoff. This runoff can cause erosion, flooding and pollution, particularly in areas of the city with low topography or inadequate drainage systems in place.
How do we solve these issues? The answer to solving storm water runoff is to provide large enough natural green space areas, which will tolerate water absorption without erosion or flooding….. a rain garden! And it’s not too different from a pollinator garden!
Make you garden do double duty, and increase your effect on urban sustainability, by adding elements that will help manage runoff.
Check out the new App here and find out about soil types, drainage in your area, and appropriate plants to add to your garden.