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Rain Gardens in Fairy Lake!

During a downpour, water gushes out of downspouts at a typical home, across lawns treated with pesticides and fertilizers, into an oily street, and finally down a storm drain, where the water, along with any contaminants picked up along the way flows into a stream, river, or lake. This can result in flooding and water pollution, among other issues.

Saugeen Conservation recommends the building of a ‘rain garden’, where gutter water can be diverted into an attractive flower bed that works like a sponge and natural filter to clean the water and let it percolate slowly into the surrounding soil.

“The plants and amended soil in a rain garden work together to filter runoff” stated Shaun Anthony, Water Quality Specialist with the SVCA. Generally, a rain garden is comprised of three zones that correspond to the tolerance plants have to standing water; the better a plant can handle "wet feet," the closer it is placed to the center of the garden. Whenever possible, rain gardens should incorporate native and drought-tolerant plants, keeping in mind that parts of a garden remain wet for long periods of time, while others are drier.

“Apart from reducing stormwater runoff and looking beautiful, rain gardens have several other benefits making them attractive to homeowners. Rain gardens provide great habitat for many species of birds and butterflies and are relatively low maintenance.  It is strongly recommended that native plants be utilized as they are adapted to the local climate. Rain gardens can also improve property values, especially in municipalities with stormwater fees” continued Anthony.

The rain garden at Fairy Lake consists of a series of step-pools designed to hold back relatively low volumes of stormwater runoff throughout the winter and summer months.

For more information on rain gardens, visit Saugeen Conservation’s website and look for the Rain Garden brochure: http://www.svca.on.ca/publications_section.php?Category=3