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  1. NCSU BAE Rain Gardens Auburn University Alabama Cooperative Extension System Water Quality Program

  2. Why worry about stormwater?

  3. Dealing with stormwater • Best Management Practices (BMPs) are designed to manage stormwater during and after construction • Silt fences • Hay bales • Detention Ponds • Mulch

  4. NCSU BAE NCSU BAE NCSU BAE Dealing with stormwater New BMPs have been tested that address both stormwater quality and quantity • Rain Gardens • Constructed Wetlands • Permeable Parking • Green Roofs

  5. NCSU BAE NCSU BAE NCSU BAE Rain Gardens • Designed to capture first inch of rain and allow it to soak into the soil, watering the plants in the rain garden • Saucer shaped depressions that typically have 6 – 9 inches of water when completely filled with stormwater

  6. NCSU BAE NCSU BAE Rain Gardens • Stormwater drains into rain garden within 24 – 48 hours • Eliminates concern about mosquito habitat • Pathogens are left high & dry = they die

  7. Rain Gardens • Attractive gardens that use native plants • Red Maple • Strawberry bush • Elderberry • Native plants are more drought tolerant, require less maintenance

  8. NCSU BAE Rain Gardens • Pollutant removal is facilitated by microbes that live in the soil and interact with the plant roots

  9. NCSU BAE NCSU BAE Rain Gardens • Come in many forms …

  10. NCSU BAE Rain Gardens • May look like a lawn …

  11. Costs • Costs for rain gardens in clay soils run about $4 - $6 per square foot. Sandy soils are less expensive since they usually don’t required underdrains • Cost comes from need to excavate, hauling, installing pipes, and bringing in new soil and rocks • Best areas for rain gardens are flat areas and / or “perched” areas adjacent to steep slopes (maximize drainage & minimize pipe costs)

  12. Maintenance • Underdrains must be inspected at least yearly to ensure they are not clogged • Mulch layer needs to be replaced as needed to assist in pollutant removal and keep the rain garden attractive and minimize weeds

  13. Maintenance • Treat them like a garden – may need watering if there is a drought to ensure plant survival • Invasive, Exotic Vegetation – Garden should be checked at least twice a year to make sure exotics don’t get established • Remove dead vegetation if desired

  14. Summary - Rain Gardens Attractive, inexpensive BMP that helps with stormwater management by allowing rain to soak into a designed garden … every little bit helps with • Increasing stormwater infiltration • Improving water quality • Educating others in the community about stormwater pollution

  15. Outdoor Classroom Community Education NCSU BAE

  16. Radney Middle School, Alexander City

  17. Radney Middle School, Alexander City

  18. Benjamin Russell High School, Alexander City

  19. Camp ASCCA, Dadeville

  20. Gadsden Mall

  21. Auburn University Arboretum, Auburn

  22. Yarbrough Elementary School Auburn, AL

  23. For more information, please visit: www.aces.edu/waterquality/mg.htm • Native plant lists • Native plant nurseries • Lessons learned