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Managing Stormwater on your Property

Rain Gardens

Rain Gardens...Capture the Flow and Watch it Grow!  A guide to benefits, plant selection, site preparation, planting, and maintenance of a rain garden prepared by the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.  Also view Native Plant Selections for Northwest Arkansas.

View local examples of rain gardens and bioswales at Leverett Elementary School, Gulley Park (near the restrooms and at the new parking lot off Old Wire Road), Walker Park (near the picnic pavillion), Seven Hills Supportive Housing, and Happy Hollow Elementary School. 

Email me a picture of your rain garden or other best management practices in your yard or at your business and I will post them on this site.

 

Rain Barrels

What is a rain barrel?
A rain barrel is a system that collects and stores rainwater from your roof that would otherwise be lost to runoff and diverted to storm drains and streams. Usually a rain barrel is composed of a 55 gallon drum, a vinyl hose, PVC couplings, a screen grate to keep debris and insects out, and other off-the-shelf items. A rain barrel is relatively simple and inexpensive to construct and can sit conveniently under any residential gutter down spout.

What are the advantages of a rain barrel?
Lawn and garden watering make up nearly 40% of total household water use during the summer. A rain barrel collects water and stores it for when you need it most -- during periods of drought -- to water plants, wash your car, or to top off a swimming pool. It provides an ample supply of free "soft water" to homeowners, containing no chlorine, lime or calcium making it ideal for gardens, flower pots, and car and window washing.

A rain barrel will save most homeowners about 1,300 gallons of water during the peak summer months. Saving water not only helps protect the environment, it saves you money and energy (decreased demand for treated tap water). Diverting water from storm drains also decreases the impact of runoff to streams. Therefore, a rain barrel is an easy way for you to have a consistent supply of clean, fresh water for outdoor use, FREE.

You can build your own rain barrel or rain barrels can be purchased at many hardware and garden supply stores.