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Rain Gardens Andrea Berry Shiawassee Conservation District In cooperation with Michigan Department of Agriculture, Michigan Conservation Districts, MSU.

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Presentation on theme: "Rain Gardens Andrea Berry Shiawassee Conservation District In cooperation with Michigan Department of Agriculture, Michigan Conservation Districts, MSU."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rain Gardens Andrea Berry Shiawassee Conservation District In cooperation with Michigan Department of Agriculture, Michigan Conservation Districts, MSU Extension, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services, AmeriCorps National Service

2 Program Objectives :  Reduce risks of groundwater contamination  Target contaminants: Pesticides and Nitrogen Fertilizers  Help residential and agricultural clients reduce their risks  Address other water quality contamination risks

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4 What is a Watershed? We all live in a watershed -- the area that drains to a common waterway, such as a stream, lake, estuary, wetland, or ultimately the ocean -- and our individual actions can directly affect it. Watersheds come in all shapes and sizes. They cross county, state, and national boundaries. No matter where you are, you're in a watershed.

5 Great Lakes Watersheds

6 Point Vs. Non-Point Pollution  Point pollution in water comes from a single source ex: factory waste  Non-point pollution does NOT originate from a single source ex: polluted runoff

7 Stormwater Runoff Following a precipitation event stormwater runs off roofs, driveways, yards and roads. Pipes and ditches carry this water away to ditches, which then goes into local streams, rivers and lakes. Unlike sewage, storm runoff is not treated. As it flows, pollution such as oil, dirt, deicing chemicals, excess lawn fertilizers and trash are carried into our waterways.

8  Nitrogen and Phosphorous fertilizers affect water quality Nitrogen causes overgrowth of plants Phosphorous causes algal blooms Clog waterways, reduce free oxygen, change aquatic ecosystems, ultimately DECREASING WATER QUALITY Problems with Fertilizers in Runoff

9 What is a Rain Garden?  A shallow depression  Planted with deep-rooted native plants  Located to receive runoff from hard surfaces  Slows the rush of water from hard surfaces  Reduces pollution from runoff Painted by Michigan artist Ruth Zachary

10 Benefits of Rain Gardens  Attractive  Minimal maintenance  Filters polluted runoff  Reduces flooding  Reduces pests  Adds beneficial insects  Attracts native birds and butterflies

11 Steps for Building a Rain Garden 1.Find a location At least 10 feet from your home* Water should infiltrate in less than 2 days NOT over a Septic Field As level a surface as possible Have your soil tested! In clays, add sand or gravel

12 Building a Rain Garden, cont. 2.Measure the drainage area Not necessary if you choose a low spot If not, measure runoff area: length x width of roof = square footage of drainage area multiply sq ft of drainage area by soil type figure sand=20%, loam=30-35%, clay=45-60%

13 An Example of Drainage Area Example: A roof is 10’ x 10’ = 100sqft The soil is loamy so 100sqft x 30% (locm)= 30sqft The garden should be in dimensions of 5’ x 6’ or 3’ x 10’ for best drainage

14 Building a Rain Garden, cont. 3.Create a design Layout on paper Keep it simple! 4.Choose your plants Native plants already adapted to EUP Select to bloom year round! Native wildflower lists and dealers: ndscape/index.cfm Michigan Native Plants List especially for rain gardens

15 Rain Garden Plants Categories of Plants: Native Trees Native Shrubs Grasses & Sedges Wildflowers Invasive – species to AVOID! Remember to Consider: Wet to Moist Conditions Moist to Dry Conditions

16 Building a Rain Garden, cont. 5.Layout the design on the ground Know your soil type Contact MISSDIG for utility lines first Get ready to dig! 5-7 inches deep Slope edges slightly Level bottom

17 7.Prepare the soil For clay soils add sand or gravel to improve drainage 8.Now the fun part – Planting! Plant 1 to 2 feet apart Native deep-rooted perennials, annuals, shrubs Trees are not recommended* Building a Rain Garden, cont.

18 7.Mulch will help keep moisture in & weeds OUT! 8. Water and arrange Downspouts Water every other day for the first months Downspouts with a 1-2’ grass buffer Building a Rain Garden, cont.

19 Mosquitoes? NO PROBLEM!  Require days to develop fully  Rain gardens infiltrate water in 24 hours or less  RG’s attract dragonflies, which feast on mosquitoes!

20 Some Examples Source

21 Grand Rapids, MI Source: Rain Gardens of Western Michigan

22 Source: Rain Gardens of Western Michiganwww.raingarden.org Marywood Prairie, Grand Rapids, MI BeforeAfter

23 Grand Rapids, MI Source: Rain Gardens of Western Michigan

24 Kentwood, MI Before Source: Rain Gardens of Western Michigan

25 Kentwood, MI After Front yardBack yard Source: Rain Gardens of Western Michigan

26 Cedarville School Rain Garden Project

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31 Sault Ste. Marie Rain Garden  Keep the St. Mary’s River CLEAN!!  Volunteer hours for Master Gardeners  Site to be determined  Possibly Sault Middle/High School  Downtown  LSSU  Any suggestions? Source:

32 Credits Rain Gardens: A how-to manual for homeowners Prepared by Andrea Berry, Shiawassee Conservation District

33 Questions?


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