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    Land & Water Conservation - Rain Gardens

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  • Information


    The Graham Martin Foundation Rain Garden program has been discontinued.  Schools interested in installing a rain garden should call 262-896-8305 to ask about potential funding.  

    How Can You Have a Rain Garden?
    All the information about planning and installation is found in the "Rain Garden How-To Manual".  Once you have a plan in place, select the plants for your garden.  Choose plants by height, bloom time, color - whatever your preference.                   

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  • Why build a rain garden?

    • Water that soaks in replenishes groundwater and helps prevent flooding
    • A rain garden protects water quality by trapping sediment, fertilizers and other pollutants
    • Rain gardens need no additional fertilizer and little pesticides
    • Native plants provide food and shelter for butterflies, song birds and other animals

  • A typical rain garden:

    • Is a sunken garden 4-8 inches deep
    • Has a flat bottom
    • Is 1/3 the size of the area draining to it - usually 75-300 square feet in size
    • Can be formal or informal in design
    • Drains within two days, so it does not provide breeding grounds to mosquitoes
    • Is planted with native plants to better infiltrate the water
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  • Why use native plants?

    • With roots growing down twice as deep as the plants are tall, native plants are very efficient at absorbing water. 
    • Also, each year, 1/3 of the roots die, providing deep tunnels for water to filter into the ground.

    Native plants can be purchased from Retzer Nature Center.
    The DNR has a listing of Native Plant Nurseries.