Conserve water quantity. Preserve water quality.
By any other name:
- rain garden
- catchwater garden
- bioretention basin
- infiltration trench or swale
- BMP - best management practice
- aesthetic opportunity
- 3 planting zones
- 4 days or less standing water
- 5% of drainage area
- 6" deep water
Why: remove pollutants, prevent erosion, prevent flooding, recharge groundwater, provide wildlife habitat, less expensive alternative to storm water ponds.
How: Use an existing or created depression large enough to hold runoff from at least 5% of the drainage area. Water depth should not exceed 6" in the rain garden. Use high organic sandy loam soil. Divide rain garden into 3 planting zones. Plant flood and drought tolerant plants. Soil and plants filter sediments, nutrients, and pollutants. Water should percolate down to recharge aquifers or move into the atmosphere through transpiration and evaporation in less than 4 days.
- Dr. Pete Schultz, Virginia Tech Hampton Roads Agricultural Research & Extension Center
- Clay Bernick, The City of Virginia Beach Planning Department, Environmental Management Center
- George Denice, The City of Virginia Beach Department of Agriculture, Habitat Enhancement Committee
- Barbara White, Virginia Department of Forestry and Department of Conservation and Recreation
- Susan French, Lynnette Swanson, Mike Andruczyk, Cyndi Wyskiewicz, Virginia Cooperative Extension Horticulture Agents with the Cities of Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, & Portsmouth respectively
- The Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Water Steward volunteers from Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Portsmouth