How you can help keep Lake Champlain clean:
Install a Rain Garden
A rain garden is a specially designed landscaped areas that provides natural places for rainwater to collect and soak into the ground.
A rain garden allows the rain water to pool for a short period of time in the garden. As rain from rooftop areas or paved areas soaks into the ground, the water is cleaned by the plants and the soil microbes in the soil. This water can recharge the ground water supply and release slowly into the stream without dirt or other pollutants.
All it takes is a little planning, a shovel, some plants, and a few stones. It is easy and can be installed in a few short hours.
How do you plant a rain garden?
The plants need to be hearty and able to handle short periods of inundation after rain. Use of native and taller plants are preferable because of the pooling of the rain water.
A rain garden is not a Most of the time soils will be well drained and dry. Look for plants preferring moist or well drained soils.
To be updated:
Tips for Building and Maintaining a Rain Garden
- Choose the placement, shape, and impervious surface that will drain into the garden before you start digging. A rain garden will help reduce stormwater on an area up to 5x its size.
- Make sure the garden depth is even throughout the bed. The garden should have gradually sloped sides.
- Uphill and downhill edges of the rain garden should be the same height. To do this, create a berm on the downhill side with soil or the sod dug out of the garden. Measure the height all across the down and uphill edges to ensure even height. This can be done with a sting line level and measuring tape. Stake string at the high point of the garden and measure across to different area of the berm.
- Use a soils with high sand and low clay content. This increases the water retention capacity and increase drainage time. Soils can be amended. Compost should be added to help give plants a boost and enhance water retention.
- Try not to walk in the garden as much as possible. This will keep the soils airy and not compact. After planting make sure you water and mulch the garden thoroughly. Line the entrance of the garden with pebbles and stones to protect it from erosion.
For more information about building a rain garden, please go to:
The Vermont Rain Garden Manual