Three picnic shelters at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum are in the beginning phase of a transformation as the arboretum prepares for its 2009 summer exhibition called Waterosity. When complete, the picnic shelters will be a new permanent display called Harvest Your Rain. Each shelter is being modified to show three different ways of managing stormwater runoff from your property’s impervious surfaces such as rooftops, driveways, and sidewalks. During rain storms and snow melt, rain barrels, rain gardens, and green roofs all “harvest your rain” decreasing the amount of runoff and non-point pollution that would otherwise pour over these impervious surfaces and into sewers and adjoining water bodies such as lakes, rivers, and wetlands. Below are articles on rain gardens and rain barrels. In June look for more Waterosity-related articles on green roofs, the new Cutting Edge on Lawns display at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, porous paving, and water-wise irrigation tips.
Photo 1: There are many opportunities to redirect and utilize runoff water from impervious surfaces. David Zlesak
Rain Barrels: A Way of Collecting and using Rainwater
Have you ever watched a river of rainwater run down your driveway into the lake or storm sewer? Or even worse, seep into your basement? Collecting roof runoff in rain barrels is a good solution to these problems and it also helps alleviate stressed water systems and conserve limited resources. Although rain barrels have been around for thousands of years, people are now encouraged more than ever to use them as a way to protect our lakes and rivers while saving money on water bills.
For the rest of the article on rain barrels please see: www.extension.umn.edu/environment/00023.pdf
Photo 2: Rain barrel setup off of a garage. Rebecca Chesin