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Water Management Associations
Rain Garden Initiative
Why are we talking about rain gardens?

In the summer of 2006, citizens in Toledo and Lucas County sustained heavy flooding from a series of rainstorms. The rainwater from these storms exceeded the capacity of the ditches and storm sewers on which the area depends to collect storm water and transport it safely to our rivers and lakes. The volume of storm water is increased in urban areas like Toledo because we have impervious surfaces like parking lots, roads and buildings that cause the water to run off instead of being absorbed into the ground. In response, our Congresswoman, Marcy Kaptur, suggested that we need to find ways to encourage the infiltration of storm water into the ground instead of trying to build bigger and better ditches and sewers in Toledo and Lucas County. She was inspired by an effort to build 10,000 rain gardens in Kansas City, Missouri.

What is a rain garden?

A rain garden is a garden in a low spot that catches and slows storm water from downspouts, driveways, parking lots, and roads and allows it to infiltrate into the soil with the help of deep-rooted plants that like water. The garden is planted in a shallow basin as part of an area’s landscaping plan and will actually filter pollutants from the runoff that it captures and absorbs. Rain gardens can be designed in all shapes and sizes and may include formally arranged plants, fields of wildflowers, stone culverts and paths, and other beautiful features.

Visit RainGardenInitiative.Org to learn more about the project, see completed rain gardens, and learn how to make your own rain garden.


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Weed Clearing in Burma - Inle Lake, a freshwater lake in the Nyaungshwe Township of Taunggyi District of Shan State is the second largest lake in Myanmar. It has an estimated surface area of 44.9 square miles. Photographer Gavin Burnett caught an image of two girls collecting weeds and debris from the shallow waters on Inle Lake. The weeds are used as compost on floating vegetable farms that are built on island of floating water hyacinths.

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