Learning About Rain Barrels and Rain Gardens
On Oct. 7, Raleigh Stormwater hosted its second Rain Barrels and Rain Gardens Workshop for residents who are interested in learning more about installing a rain garden and/or using a rain barrel on their property to capture and reuse rainwater.
Participants learned about the impacts polluted rainwater can have on the environment when it reaches the ground, and how rain gardens and rain barrels can help lessen those impacts. The workshop highlighted that rain gardens and rain barrels capture, clean, and reuse rainwater; help reduce erosion; and improve the water quality of waterways that are often polluted by stormwater runoff.
Participants also were provided with information and resources to help with rain garden and rain barrel installations, including the best location and size, the most effective soils and plants, and tips for regularly maintaining each stormwater management practice.
For example, the following plants are colorful and work well in a rain garden: red chokeberry, orange winterberry, yellow acorus, american beautyberry, bluebell, and inkberry.
A free rain barrel was raffled at the end of the workshop to encourage residents to take what they learned in the class and begin capturing rainwater at home. Congratulations Preston Ross on your rain barrel!
Learn more about installing a rain garden or using a rain barrel on your property.
Rain Barrel Benefits
Here are four reasons why rain barrels are beneficial:
- There is less stormwater runoff and pollution;
- The stormwater collected in a rain barrel already contains nitrogen, which means homeowners can use less fertilizer. Too much fertilizer can increase pollution to streams and lakes;
- More water is conserved; and,
- Clean rainwater is healthier for soils and plants, which also creates better pollinator habitats and gardens.