Maybe you've noticed rain gardens seem to be all the craze, but for good reason! Rain gardens are a beautiful way to manage stormwater runoff on your property, intercepting it before it hits the street and storm drain. They help filter out sediment, phosphorus, nitrogen, and other debris from your yard preventing it from entering our lakes, rivers, and streams. Installing a rain garden will soak up 30% more runoff than your lawn alone and will help prevent flooding. Using native plants in the garden will also provide the needed habitat for pollinators! Even if there isn't adequate space within your property for a rain garden, replacing turf grass with native plants or no-mow grass options will prevent water from running off your property and increase the amount that can be infiltrated.
Many municipalities, conservation districts, and watershed districts or management organizations have programs in place to provide funding and educational guidance to homeowners or residents interested in installing a rain garden of their own. Collaboration efforts through local groups like Sustain Winona and Healthy Lake Winona have secured funding for Winona County and the City of Winona to offer cost-share grants of their own.