The Rain Garden Project
The Monroe County Environmental Fund grant helped fund the creation of a rain garden designed to filter storm water runoff from the parking lot of the Ellis Library & Reference Center.
The rain garden, following approximately 300 ft. of the Library’s property adjacent to the River Raisin, features native plants along with selected ornamental (shorter) perennials/shrubs, providing landscaping, natural filtration, and habitat for birds, butterflies, and beneficial insects.
A Partnership Between
Goals of the Project
- Increase the amount of water filtering into the ground, recharging groundwater and helping to reduce the amount of pollutants entering the River Raisin.
- Help sustain adequate flow in the River Raisin during dry periods.
- Enhance the beauty of our property.
- Provide habitat for birds, butterflies, and beneficial insects.
- Help protect the riverbank from damaging flows; reduce the chance of soil erosion.
- Educate Library patrons about rain gardens.
- Partner with garden clubs, Friends of the Library, etc. to foster development of more rain gardens in the area.
Resources about Rain Gardens
Links provided by the Monroe County Drain Commission
Publications (printed and/or on-line)
- Rain Garden how-to manual for homeowners. 32 pages, detailed instructions, plant lists, garden designs. WI DNR Publication PUB-WT-776 2003; also known as University of Wisconsin-Extension, UWEX Publication GWQ037, 1-06-03-5M-100-S.
- Rain Gardens: A household way to improve water quality in your community.
Brochure. GWQ 034 1-01-02-5M-50-S (UW Extension); DNR WT 731-2002 (WI DNR)
- Each publication listed above is available on-line at:
Or call: 608-947-7827; or toll-free 877-947-7827 (Madison, WI)
- Low-impact Design Strategies. Prince George’s County, MD. 150-page, on-line manual on hydrological strategies, including rain gardens.
- Build Your Own Rain Garden. Rain garden basics and garden designs, with plant suggestions. http://www.appliedeco.com/RainGardens.cfm
- Plants for Stormwater Design. D. Shaw and R. Schmidt, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, July 2003. 369-page manual on plants to use in rain gardens and storm basins. Suggests species lists for different types of projects. Information on wetland plants. To order, call 651-297-8679. Available on-line at:www.pca.state.mn.us/publications/manuals/stormwaterplants.html
- City of Maplewood, MN www.ci.maplewood.mn.us (use “search”; key words: “rainwater gardens”) Rain garden photos, plant lists, sample garden designs, maintenance manual
- EPA website about stormwater runoff
- Friends of Bassett Creek www.mninter.net/~stack/rain/index.htm
Excellent list of rain garden plants, with photos of each.
- Fulton Neighborhood, Minneapolis – Landscaping for Rainwater Management
- Gopher State One Call: 800-252-1166; www.gopherstateonecall.org
Call before you dig!
- RainGardens of West Michigan www.raingardens.org
A clearinghouse for rain-garden how-to’s, benefits, garden designs, and more.
Plants Featured in the Ellis Rain Garden
- Foam Flower - Tiarella cordifolia
- Black Eyed Susan - Rudbeckia hirta
- Wild Blue Phlox - Phlox divaricata
- Bergamot - Monarda fistulosa
- Red Milkweed - Asclepias incarnata
- Dense Blazingstar - Liatris spicata
- Big Leaf Aster - Aster macrophyllus
- Culver's Root - Veronicastrum virginicum
- Yellow Coneflower - Ratibida pinnata
- White Turtlehead - Chelone glabra
- Early Meadowrue - Thalictrum dioicum
- Bishop's Cap - Mitella diphylla
- Smooth Penstemon - Penstemon digitalis
- Showy Goldenrod - Solidago speciosa
- Great Blue Lobelia - Lobelia siphilitica
- Indiangrass - Sorghastrum nutans
- Smooth Aster - Aster laevis
- Lupine - Lupinus perennis
- New England Aster - Aster novae-angliae
- Obedient Plant - Physostegia virginiana
- Columbine - Aquilegia canadensis
- Golden Alexanders - Zizia aurea
- Blue Vervain - Verbena hastata
- Bottlebrush Grass - Hystrix patula
- Woodland Sunflower - Helianthus strumosus
- Ohio Spiderwort - Tradescantia ohiensis