’Tis the season for building raingardens — those bowl-shaped landscape features filled with native plants that help stormwater runoff soak into the ground. Raingardens are an increasingly popular way to manage runoff and help keep pollutants out of stormdrains (which lead directly to the Mississippi River). They can also make your yard more attractive — to pollinators and people alike.
If you want to learn how to build your own, the MWMO is holding a workshop with local raingarden experts Metro Blooms on July 13. (It’s a good night to stop by, because you can also take a free canoe ride and eat free ice cream at Share the River Nordeast.)
In the meantime, you can get the 30,000-foot view of how to install a raingarden from this time-lapse video taken recently in Minneapolis. (Technically, it’s more like a 12-foot view, taken from a residential gutter using a GoPro camera.)
Full disclosure: the raingarden in the video belongs to yours truly. I won it in a lottery for the Longfellow Raingarden Project, a collaboration between the Longfellow Community Council and Metro Blooms. The City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County are funding the project, which will install 37 raingardens in the greater Longfellow area of Minneapolis.
As the video shows, the project is also supported by some intense elbow grease provided by the Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa and a group of local volunteers. Thanks to everyone who helped make it happen!
As a bonus, for those who can’t wait to get started on their own raingarden, our favorite do-it-yourself raingarden guide is this one from the University of Wisconsin Extension:
Rain Gardens: A How-To Manual for Homeowners (PDF, 5 MB, 32 pages)