Thomas Franti - Associate Professor of Biological Systems Engineering
Soil erosion and subsequent sediment delivered to streams and lakes is a serious water quality problem in Nebraska. Sedimentation of small reservoirs reduced flood-holding capacity. High nutrient runoff can lead to harmful algal blooms.
With time on your hands this winter you can dream about creating a beautiful and functional rain garden in your landscape this coming spring. A rain garden helps conserve water, reduce runoff pollution, and adds an aesthetic landscape feature to your home. You can do more than dream, you can use UNL Extension publication resources to design and install your rain garden.
Rain gardens are an aesthetic feature of your residential landscape that also has a hydrologic function. Hydrologic means related to water. A properly designed and constructed rain garden for a residential landscape (no underground drainage system) is designed like a bathtub to hold water and let it slowly seep into the soil beneath the garden. This water is available for plant growth, and this water is removed from runoff that leaves your yard and does not contribute to downstream flooding or pollution. How well does your rain garden serve its hydrologic function?