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Why Are Rain Gardens Important to Sylvan Lake?
 


NEWS FLASH
...
Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn has launched the IL Rain Garden Initiative ( http://raingarden.il.gov ). Attached is the latest brochure with general details on the initiative. The Lt. Gov.'s office has some funding available to help with project expenses ($500 per project). If you are interested in getting funding assistance for a project at a school (or possibly another public property), please contact Michael Norbeck at the Lt. Gov.'s office


Jeri Swanson wants you to know...
This is a huge effort, currently being done at Reed Turner Preserve in their highland area to curb erosion.
It's endorsed by the state and being used at schools. 

 
     
   

A rain garden is a garden with a special purpose–to
reduce the amount of stormwater runoff entering local
streams and lakes.


Sylvan Lake is fed mainly by stormwater runoff.
By creating
a rain garden on your property, you can help improve the water
quality in our lake. You can use rain the way nature intended,
instead of throwing this resource away. A rain garden is a
natural way for you to help solve our stormwater pollution
problems, help recharge groundwater, and protect our water
resources.

In addition, rain gardens are attractive landscaping features. They
use native species of plants that are adapted to our region, and
they can be low maintenance while providing habitat for native
wildlife and butterflies.

Click here to download a Rain Gardens manual

...there are 2 PDF files with
instuctions on building many sizes and types.

 

   
 

Why is stormwater a problem?

We tend to think that large industrial polluters cause most water pollution, but this is not the case. We are the real culprits. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that up to 70% of the pollution in our surface waters is carried there by stormwater runoff. Some studies show that about 50% of that pollution comes from individuals and homeowners, due to yard care, yard waste, and chemical pollution from household activities.

When it rains, water runs off of our roofs, parking lots, streets, and lawns, instead of soaking into the soil the way it did before development. This water, along with everything it picks up along the way, ends up in storm sewers and ditches that discharge into the lake. Salt from roads, pet waste, lawn nutrients, spilled gas, oil and other pollutants are all washed into our lake water.

Will rain gardens breed mosquitoes?

No. Mosquitoes needs 7 to 12 days to lay and hatch eggs, and standing water in the rain garden will last for a few hours after most storms. Mosquitoes are more lilely to lay eggs in bird baths, storm sewers, and lawns than in a sunny rain garden. Also rain gardens attract dragonflies which eat mosquitoes.

How is a rain garden constructed?

They can be simple—just a green area of your yard where stormwater goes—or complex, involving excavating and re-building soil. They also may be “industrial strength,” handling large volumes of water periodically, where large-scale stormwater management regulations must be met.

Where should I put a rain garden?

You can put a rain garden just about anywhere. In a low area of your yard, a complex of plants and soil will absorb a lot of rain.

If you have a problem with a wet basement, locate the rain garden away from building foundations.
Ten feet away and downslope is a rule of thumb.

Every garden is site specific and unique—you can make it what you want to make it.

What plants can I put in a rain garden?

Many beautiful plants, trees and shrubs can be planted in a rain garden. We recommend species native to to our region, but other cultivated non-native species can be very beautiful, too. Just NOT Purple Loosestrife!

much of this material was courtesy of http://www.raingardens.org