Rain Gardens, also known as bio-retention systems, mimic natural water retention and serve as a stormwater management feature, as well as a beautiful garden. They are low lying areas created to absorb, and filter runoff from roofs, driveways and parking lots. Rain gardens are planted with native plants adapted for high levels of water, which help to hold the runoff and filter pollutants while the runoff water slowly soaks into the ground. Here is a suggested list of plants that work well in rain gardens.
For more information about rain garden programs in Howard County, visit the CleanWaterHoward.com website. There is alot of information there about potential reimbursements, credits and other programs regarding rain gardens.
Rain Barrels collect and store water runoff from roof downspouts to be reused as needed for landscape watering, car washing, or other outdoor uses where non-potable water is acceptable. Because they allow water reuse, rain barrels are a practical water conservation tool and reduce our demand on treated tap water. Trust us, your grass and flowers won’t notice the difference! (See “Drinking Water” to learn where your tap water comes from and how it is treated.)
Howard County gives away barrels that can be modified to become a rain barrel. The barrel comes with pre-drilled holes, but additional parts and assembly are required. To collect your FREE BARREL visit a rain barrel workshop at Alpha Ridge Landfill. Master Gardeners will explain how to build the rain barrel and answer questions. Workshops are usually the first and third Saturday of the month, April through October, except some holidays. Click here for a detailed schedule and more information about rain barrels. The schedule is towards the bottom of the handout.
There is usually a Rain Barrel Workshop and give-away every April at GreenFest. Check hcgreenfest.org for details.
Please see Additional Links below for Rain Barrel Instructions and the Rain Barrel Pledge Form for Residents that are used in the workshops.