Rain gardens helping local businesses and homeowne

Published 07/14 2014 04:40PM

Updated 07/14 2014 06:31PM

At Palmer Hills Golf Course in Bettendorf beautifully manicured grass makes up the green.

But one spot, is a little more wild and does a whole lot more than improve your game.

It's a rain garden.

"We consider it a working landscape," said Dan McNeil with the Scott County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Water runoff from storms goes from impermeable surfaces, like roofs and parking lots, and makes its way to the garden.

"The rain garden is a depressed garden that captures that storm water, cleanses it, and slowly absorbs it into the ground,” said McNeil.

Rain gardens have a layer of rock to help absorb that water, and are made up of native plants to the area.

They're also equipped to handle minor flash flooding.

"Rain gardens by design will handle the 1 and a quarter inch rainfall which is an average rainfall in our region.  But we always allow for that overflow in the design of the rain garden,” said McNeil.

A big rain garden like the one here in Palmer Hills does wonders for this facility's water runoff problem.

And private businesses and homeowners are in on it too.

"I have this rental house and it had an ugly tree, and I wanted to do something different, and so they came and suggested a rain garden,” said Davenport homeowner Kathy Conway.

Kathy Conway's rental house has had a rain garden for three years now.

And it's helped Kathy fix water runoff problems she used to have.

"Downspouts used to go out in the backyard, so they reconnected the downspouts to the front, and so all of the runoff comes in to the garden and waters the plants," said Conway.

Kathy lives by Duck Creek, a waterway with a big e–coli problem, caused partially by water runoff.

Rain gardens also help with that.

"So residents in the Duck Creek watershed can apply for funding if they're interested in a rain garden and we'll provide 50% of the cost up to $2,000," said McNeil.

Making rain gardens a win for the battle against e-coli, a win for homeowners, and most of all, a win for the environment.

If you're interested in the Scott County Soil and Water Conservation District's rain garden program, you can contact them at 563-391-1403, extension 3.

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