What is Rainscaping?

Rainscaping is a method of watershed restoration that promotes green infrastructure awareness and implementation among homeowners, landscapers, and contractors, highlighting both the benefits of green infrastructure and the skills required for installation.

Definitions:

Green Infrastructure: is the practice of infiltrating stormwater by use of natural systems (like rainscaping) in order to reestablish a healthy water flow. These systems allow for the infiltration of stormwater before it is released into conventional storm and sewer system, protecting our lakes, rivers, and streams from harmful pollutants. Learn more

Rain Gardens: are filled with specifically selected native plants that absorb untreated stormwater in their deep root system, preventing it from contaminating our waterways.

Native Plants/Trees: utilizes indigenous plant species and often attract pollinators and other beneficial insects to the site. Native plants have deep root systems which help stormwater infiltrate the ground, they also require less water, fertilizer, and care once established. Trees are increasingly recognized for their importance in managing stormwater runoff. Roots take up water and help create conditions in the soil that promote infiltration. Depending on the size and species, a single tree may store 100 gallons, or more, of stormwater.

Riparian Zone: also known as a “streamside buffer”, is made up of native plants that surround a river or waterway and control erosion, filter pollutants, protect fish, reduce flooding, and provide suitable wildlife habitat. “Riparian zones may be natural or engineered for soil stabilization or restoration. These zones are important natural biofilters, protecting aquatic environments from excessive sedimentation, polluted surface runoff and erosion. They supply shelter and food for many aquatic animals and shade that limits stream temperature change. Research shows that riparian zones are instrumental in water quality improvement for both surface runoff and water flowing into streams through subsurface or groundwater flow. Riparian zones can play a role in lowering nitrate contamination in surface runoff, such as manure and other fertilizers from agricultural fields, that would otherwise damage ecosystems and human health. (source)

Learn more about Natural Shorelines

Curb Cuts: are portions of a concrete curb that is removed in order to divert stormwater out of the streets and into streetside rain gardens or other detention basins.

Rain Barrels: usually made from recycled ~50 gallon barrels, rain barrels are connected to a downspout and capture and store rainwater and store it for later use. Rain barrels can me made at home or bought already constructed from a home improvement store.

How Rainscaping Can Help You!

  • Make your yard a haven for bees and butterflies

  • Make your community healthier and more livable

  • Improve wet problem areas in your yard

  • Reach cost-effective and sustainable green decisions

  • Manage your natural resources more effectively

  • Redesign urban landscapes for environmental health

  • Meet regulatory and economic goals

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