In the Summer of 2010, Keep Akron Beautiful, in collarboration with the Summit Soil & Water Conservation District offered residents of Summit County a free Rain Garden Workshop.
Rain Gardens are depressional areas landscaped with perennial flowers and native vegetation that soak up rainwater. They are strategically located to capture runoff from impervious surfaces, such as roofs and streets. Rain Gardens fill with a few inches of water after a storm and then water filters into the ground, rather than running off to a storm drain.
As cities and suburbs grow, increased storm water runoff from impervious surfaces becomes a problem. As more impervious surfaces are added to our communities, it is more important than ever to help rainwater infiltrate. This protects water quality and reduces storm water runoff!
After receiving a grant from the The Corbin Foundation, Keep Akron Beautiful found the ideal location to plan, plant and maintain a demonstration rain garden. The idea was to plant a garden where the citizens of Akron can come and observe how to construct one and discover how the gardens work to capture and filter water runoff from rooftops and driveways. Akron City Council Representative Tina Merlitti has always been concerned about the flood plain of the Brewster Creek in Ward 7. Members of the Green Ribbon Panel began the search for a site in her ward, close to affected residents. Mark Moore, City Engineer and the Akron Public Schools Superintendent David James agreed that Voris Elementary School would be a good location for the native plant garden and rain barrel installation.
Cindy Fink and Sandy Barbic, of the Soil & Water Conservation District supervised the garden construction. The native Ohio plants were installed by volunteers from Meaden Moore who were part of the United Way Day of Action in June. Rain Garden information can be accessed here.
Rain Garden - August 2010