Thank you to all who stopped by if you have any further questions or are planning on building your own Rain Garden please give me a call! Jeremy Groves 402-461-2339
There are many different native or well-adapted plants that can be used in rain gardens in Nebraska. Below are a few that we have used here in Scottsbluff that have done very well in our rain garden.
Bee balm (pictured above) is an excellent rain garden plant, but it can spread aggressively. In our rain garden, it spread very quickly in May and June, but once it started getting hot in July, it stopped spreading.
The planted area you see pictured below is a bioswale. A bioswale is a long, often linear depression in the ground that allows water to move from one location to another. It has gentle side slopes where plants can be grown to slow water enough to filter pollutants and allow more runoff to filter into the ground. This bioswale collects all the water from the roof of the library and directs it to the storm drain at the bottom of the swale. Roof runoff often carries many pollutants, such as leaf litter, bacteria and algae that grow in gutters, and bird droppings. The plants in the bioswale will help remove these pollutants before the runoff enters the storm sewer system, where it travels directly to theNorth Platte River.
This bioswale was the Eagle Scout project for Spencer Lake. Lake worked with the City of Scottsbluff to complete the project with help from members of Boy Scout Troop 13 and the UNL Master Gardeners. The project was designed by Amy Seiler and was funded in part with grant funds from the Greener Nebraska Towns Initiative and in part by the Lied Scottsbluff Public Library Foundation. The day of the installation, we had 29 volunteers work for a combined 100 hours.
Scroll through our pictures below for more information on this project.
See videos below for recent public service announcements about stormwater pollution, rain gardens, and cleaning up after pets.
On Thursday, September 15, from 9am – 4pm the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Stormwater Management Team and the City of Kearney will be hosting a rain garden workshop and training in Kearney. The event will include classroom instruction followed by a hands on installation. The goal of this workshop is to provide hands on training and information, with the end result being a completed example of a working rain garden citizens can see in action.
- Do not miss your opportunity to attend this free workshop. Please complete and return this flyer by
Kearney RG workshop flyer
Visit the City of Kearney Rain Barrel Display Area
Get Ideas On How You Can Help Conserve Water and Protect Our Local Environment.
Collecting rainwater for your garden is a smart idea, no matter what your motivation. Plants like rainwater, because it’s naturally soft, and free of chlorine and other chemicals. If you’re on the municipal water system, you stand to save a considerable amount of money.
Did you know that once every two and a half minutes someone calls a poison control center to report exposure to a household cleaning substance?1 Over half of these calls involve the exposure of a child under five years old.2 Most of us have several different kinds of toxic substances in our homes, including cleaning supplies, paint thinner, pesticides, etc. Not only are these products toxic while inside your home, if not disposed of properly, they can also be toxic to the environment.
Note: This post describes the rain garden demonstration project which was installed in Scottsbluff in July 2010 with the help of the UNL Extension Stormwater Team. The garden is located on the corner of 19th Street and Avenue B.
Step 1 Choosing the Site
Rain gardens are designed to catch runoff from roofs, driveways, streets, sidewalks, or other areas of the lawn. This was an excellent site for a rain garden because of the downspout that drains into the area. Minimum work was needed to channel the runoff into the rain garden.
- Review your home for stormwater handling. If your gutter, downspout, driveway or deck directly discharges into a water body, retrofit it by redirecting the runoff onto a grassy area or installing a berm/swale system. Or even install a Rain Barrel.
- Design your landscaping to limit water use. Install a Rain Garden.
- If you have an irrigation system, make sure it is in good working order and limit its use to actual watering needs. Install rain sensors into your irrigation system.
- Consider replacing impervious surfaces like sidewalks, decks and driveways around your home with more pervious materials or methods like mulch, turf block, pervious concrete or clean stone.
- Retain shrubby vegetation along waterfronts to prevent erosion and help stop heavy rain sheetflow.
- Never dispose of oils, pesticides or other chemicals onto driveways, roadways or storm drains. The next rain will either carry it into a surface water or help it soak into our drinking water.
- Reduce the amount of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides you apply to your lawn and landscaping. What the plants can’t absorb quickly usually results in surface or groundwater pollution.
- Use environmentally friendly cleaning products — and continue to dispose of them in the proper manner.
- Educate friends and family on the importance of proper waste disposal.
- Attend community meetings and citizen panels, and voice your concerns.