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For more about the award program, visit www. Home to nearly , residents in south Sacramento County, the City of Elk Grove has more than doubled in size since its incorporation in JulyLike many cities with growing populations, Elk Grove was increasingly concerned about preserving small urban open spaces, protecting water quality and promoting a healthy watershed. Recognizing that stormwater is a resource rather than a nuisance, the city developed a public project to demonstrate sustainable stormwater management practices. The City of Elk Grove partnered with the Cosumnes Community Services District and an engineering firm to design and engineer a small lot adjacent to city hall with an educational emphasis on a sustainable approach to stormwater management.
WATCH RELATED VIDEO: How to Build a Rain Garden - Urban ConservationContent:
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- Better Plants. Better Service. Better Prices.
- Native California Plants for Your Garden
- Gardens to Visit
- Rain gardens capture storm water, clean it up
- Rain Garden at School
- 7 Colorful Plants That Are Also Drought Tolerant
- Native Plants Sacramento Landscape Design
- Will The Smoke Affect Your Crops When It Rains?
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For more about the award program, visit www. Home to nearly , residents in south Sacramento County, the City of Elk Grove has more than doubled in size since its incorporation in JulyLike many cities with growing populations, Elk Grove was increasingly concerned about preserving small urban open spaces, protecting water quality and promoting a healthy watershed.
Recognizing that stormwater is a resource rather than a nuisance, the city developed a public project to demonstrate sustainable stormwater management practices. The City of Elk Grove partnered with the Cosumnes Community Services District and an engineering firm to design and engineer a small lot adjacent to city hall with an educational emphasis on a sustainable approach to stormwater management.
The Rain Garden Plaza features a quarter-acre rain garden with a dry well to enhance groundwater recharge, a paved plaza area composed primarily of pervious pavers that allow water to pass through, and a shaded picnic area that serves as a quiet community gathering place.
The site uses California native drought-resistant plants to encourage sustainable landscaping, attract butterflies, birds and bees and promote water conservation. Fitness equipment is stationed on synthetic lawn that allows water to permeate the soil below.
Fact-filled, colorful interpretive signs illustrate and provide information on various stormwater management techniques. An interactive sculpture, decorated with tiles painted by local schoolchildren, showcases different types of pervious and impervious surfaces. The Rain Garden Plaza demonstrates several ways that stormwater moves through natural terrain.
The low-impact development features slow the flow of stormwater and allow it to be absorbed by native plants before making its way toward the lowest point of the site, the rain garden. This design mimics the natural processes that occur in undeveloped watersheds and serves as a model of how residential and commercial development projects can be designed to conserve water.
The rain chains capture runoff and convey it to a rain barrel to hold water for future irrigation. During its first rainy season in late and early , the Rain Garden Plaza retained all water on-site from storms with one inch or less of rainfall during a hour period.
And percent of the site runoff is treated in the stormwater quality features, avoiding costly underground mechanical devices. The community has embraced the Rain Garden Plaza, and the public was involved with the development of the project from its inception, including the overall organic design and public art displays.
More than 1, local elementary-school students from 32 classes and 14 schools hand-painted tiles to help accent the plaza with a message about water quality and aquatic resource protection. Volunteers planted much of the landscaping as part of a community volunteer day, which helped to create a sense of community ownership.
Throughout the year visitors can be seen watching the hummingbirds and butterflies that frequent the garden and its numerous native flowering plants. Employees from nearby businesses often use the fitness equipment and eat lunch under the shade structure.Residents, students and community groups are regularly seen walking the boardwalk, enjoying the interactive art sculpture, viewing the water-harvesting technologies on display and discovering new facts about stormwater pollution prevention from the colorful interpretive signs and educational tours.
The plaza has become a destination for many stormwater professionals and a site for educational tours. It serves as a model — for the community, state agencies and other local municipalities — of low-impact development techniques and sustainable stormwater practices that promote healthy watersheds. Contact: Darren Wilson, engineering services manager, City of Elk Grove; phone: ; email: dwilson elkgrovecity. This article appears in the July issue of Western City Did you like what you read here?
Subscribe to Western City. Skip to main content Skip to site navigation. Making Water Conservation Educational and Fun The Rain Garden Plaza features a quarter-acre rain garden with a dry well to enhance groundwater recharge, a paved plaza area composed primarily of pervious pavers that allow water to pass through, and a shaded picnic area that serves as a quiet community gathering place.
Building a Sense of Community Ownership The community has embraced the Rain Garden Plaza, and the public was involved with the development of the project from its inception, including the overall organic design and public art displays.
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Floodplains and floodways hold large quantities of water after rain or snow events. Natural site features such as wetlands with native plants and hydric soils have long disappeared and they no longer can function as they should. Landowners are encouraged to plant native plants on their property. These plants will assist with absorption and filtration of water.
The garden is planted with a mix of native plants that filter out Step 2: Determine minimum surface area for rain garden. Assume that the ponding area.
Native California Plants for Your Garden
Figure 1. See multi-use rain garden plant lists in appendix 4 of Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1, 2nd Edition , my blog post on multi-use rain garden lists , and the plant lists below for more. Figure 2. Water is stored subsurface, rather than on the surface so mosquitoes are not a problem. These multi-use rain-garden plants lists are invitations to collaborate with and enhance living systems in our shared built environments. They are the result of striving to transform simple plant lists into more dynamic tools that invite greater understanding, maximize beneficial connections and relationships, and lift the potential of what designed living systems can regeneratively provide. These lists promote multi-functional plantings of rainwater, stormwater, and vegetation which, when done well, will not require supplemental irrigation after the plants get established establishment period can take 1—3 years.
Gardens to Visit
It is about miles long and about 75 miles wide. At its extreme northern and southern ends, the elevation is about feet. At its center, east of San Francisco Bay, it is slightly below sea level. The Great Central Valley is actually two large valleys lying end to end, each drained by a major river. The confluence of these two rivers occurs east of San Francisco Bay.
This story parallels a similar geological transect written by Professor Richard Hilton.
Rain gardens capture storm water, clean it up
In its seventh year, this Northern Sacramento Valley garden tour features landscapes that demonstrate the versatility and creativity as well as the drought tolerance of most California native plants. Sponsored by the Sacramento Valley Chapter of the California Native Plant Society CNPS , the tour is intended to educate, inform and inspire both homeowners and landscape professionals about the benefits as well as the aesthetic and drought tolerant aspects of California Native plants in the home landscape. Tour attendance continues to grow, typically reaching around 1, attendees. Foothill Penstemon, a California native plant, sports long and long-lived spikes of blossoms and is very drought tolerant. The pattern of rainfall is equally important for the prospect of gardening with native plants. Rains typically start in the fall and continue through spring, with January and February typically being the wettest months.
Rain Garden at School
It is a major watershed whose tributaries come from the Sierra Nevadas, Hostas, Cascades, and other mountain ranges in the region. The river runs through the agriculturally vibrant Central Valley region and provides water to the residents of north, central, and southern California. Indeed, one-third of all produce grown in the United States come from the Central Valley.Unsurprisingly perhaps, the economy and viability of life in California are intrinsically tied to the Sacramento River. Pollutants in the Sacramento River include methylmercury, microplastics, chemical pesticides from agricultural industries, and sewage overflow that results in elevated E. In addition to these effluents, the ecological viability of the river is threatened by large scale water infrastructure projects that have served to divert, dam, and irrigate the river for human ends.
From a runoff perspective under the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley Water Year and the amount and type of landscape and cultivated plant cover.
7 Colorful Plants That Are Also Drought Tolerant
Every year, about 4 million gallons of polluted runoff—raw sewage and stormwater—entered Puget Sound from an overflowing combined sewer system near popular Lincoln Park in Seattle. The usual gray infrastructure solution would have been a huge underground storage tank. The County retrofitted the planting strips with 93 bioretention cells—highly engineered roadside rain gardens with native and drought-tolerant plants—to intercept stormwater on 15 residential blocks and infiltrate the filtered water within the block rather than flowing back into the combined sewer system. Unlike gray infrastructure which just temporarily retains the stormwater in large storms before sending it back into the combined sewer system and treatment plant, these facilities intercept stormwater runoff every time it rains, thus reducing the volume of water flowing to the treatment plant.
Native Plants Sacramento Landscape DesignRELATED VIDEO: Rain Garden
The New California Landscape promotes a balance between urban landscapes and the environment, includes diverse and beautiful aesthetic qualities, and facilitates the efficient use and management of resources, especially water. The carefully selected plants in these designs make caring for the landscape easier, even for the beginning gardener. These plants also provide food and shelter for many types of birds, butterflies, and beneficial insects. Because these plants are climate appropriate, and many are California native and drought tolerant, they will thrive and more easily resist pest infestations and plant diseases, minimizing the need to use pesticides and reducing pollution, while saving time and money. Additionally, the use of organic gardening practices and Integrated Pest Management IPM help to create and sustain healthy soils.
The Turf Replacement Program requires the inclusion of a rainwater capture or filtration system integrated into the landscape project. This sustainable approach integrated into the overall landscape design serves to reduce rainwater runoff onto sidewalks and streets and capture rainwater for reuse.
Will The Smoke Affect Your Crops When It Rains?
It's a beautiful, serene open space with gardens that is a magnet for wildlife - as well as one that is low maintenance and habitat-friendly. The Elk Grove Rain Garden Plaza is designed to educate and build community awareness to conserve water resources, improve water quality, attract wildlife habitat, and promote watershed stewardship through both passive learning and hands-on fun interactive educational components. The Project features a creatively-designed and aesthetically-pleasing outdoor open space that includes a rain garden, biofiltration swales, pervious paving systems, water harvesting features, and California native, drought resistant plants. The Rain Garden Plaza acts like a living laboratory teaching people of all ages to have fun as they learn about sustainable stormwater practices. The Rain Garden Plaza also features a canopied picnic area, fitness equipment, and local artwork. The unique and creative solutions to preserve our natural resources today, will lead to a better tomorrow and sustainable urban regeneration for the future.
Calscape is focused on helping Californians restore nature one garden at a time. We believe that nature is the most beautiful and environmentally responsible model for landscaping in California. And even more importantly, we believe that homeowners restoring nature in their gardens can slow and one day even reverse the loss of biodiversity being caused by rampant development in California. This guide is meant to give native plant gardeners and other small-scale nature restorers the information they'll need to do that by mimicking nature in their plant selection, irrigation, mulching, weed control and pest control practices.