Interview with the rain garden: ‘I do more than just hold water’

rai ngarden videoIt’s likely that a rain garden has never been interviewed on camera before. Until now. A student team from CFAES’s Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering won a competition last spring for their video about rain gardens — what they are, how they work, how they help our water quality. Details and a link to the video here. It’s clearly explained, science-based, fun and funny. Think Bill Nye the Science Guy. The late Steve Irwin. A subtle note of Pee-wee Herman’s Magic Screen. Two thumbs up. The competition took place at the annual meeting of the American Ecological Engineering Society. 

A wet, green buffer to harmful effects of development

image of water drops on green leaf

Rain gardens can give residential, commercial, and industrial developments a greener, and also bluer, footprint, says a CFAES student research project (1-page report; downloadable pdf or text file). “By reducing runoff volume and peak flow, (rain gardens) provide a dynamic internal water storage zone with the potential to improve water quality,” the researchers wrote. “Rain gardens … represent a sustainable and economical method for decreasing the volume of water that flows into rivers and streams during storm events.” The project was funded by the SEEDS grant program of CFAES’s research arm, OARDC.