Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Rain Gardens - Something to Think About


unday morning’s massive deluge from the remnants of Hurricane Ike and the small lake that subsequently formed in my backyard got me thinking about flooding and rainwater runoff, and the use of rain gardens, in particular.

A rain garden is a planted depression, generally filled with native plantings, that is designed to absorb rainwater runoff from impervious surfaces such as roofs, paved areas and compacted lawn areas. This reduces rain runoff by allowing stormwater to soak into the ground as opposed to flowing into storm drains. In cities such as Seattle, Portland and Kansas City, they can be found along urban streets, in courtyards, lining parking lots and sidewalks, and in a variety of other spots. Green roofs are also considered rain gardens as well.

What parts of downtown would be well suited for a rain garden? Let’s see…

City Hall

Lucas Park

Kiener Plaza

The grassy area to the east of Pointe 400 (the former Sverdrup Building) at Fourth and Spruce

Anywhere along the Gateway Mall west of Tucker

The area in front of the Gateway Tower along Memorial Drive

Luther Ely Smith Park

Parking lots such as the one across from the Railway Exchange Building at Sixth and Olive.

Something to think about...

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