Rain Garden

Vocabulary

Flooding and its effects are common, a day-to-day challenge in some countries in the world. But when it comes to “world leader”, the situation is different. You don’t expect a rain storm could damage your property or be the cause of the lost of loved ones.

Hurricane Joaquin didn’t touch land on the East Coast of the US, but it has devastated South Carolina, leading to land erosion and the lost of the lives of 15 people. Governor Nikki Haley said: “We haven’t seen this level of rain in the Lowcountry in 1,000 years,”, according to AccuWeather.

“A solid week of rainfall … sent about 1,000 to shelters and left about 40,000 without drinkable water.”, CBS News reports. Does this mean that we should consider building more resilience in vulnerable areas?

Rain Garden - Hurricane Joaquin

Rain Gardens

During a symposium in New York City for the closing of the Healthy Trees Healthy Cities internship, Ecology and Environmental college students Kylene Colón and Ishmael Akahoho presented an alternative to face urban flooding with a nature-based solution.

“Rain gardens are shallow depressions that have native plants with deep roots, that have the ability to withstand extreme moisture”, explain Colón during the presentation of their project: a booklet with step-by-step instructions to build you own rain garden.

“These special landscapes can be placed almost anywhere, like a driveway, the city’s sidewalks, in a park, and it will drain more water when a storm threatens the population”, Akahoho mentioned.

Rain Garden 2

So, which are the benefits?

  • Improves an area’s natural beauty.
  • Rain water will be filters by plants before reaching underground waterways.
  • Reduces water pollution.
  • Protects an area from flooding by collecting overflow.
  • Increases pollination, as it attracts birds and butterflies.
  • Improves the aesthetics of an area.

The booklet information is shared on the internship’s official website and is to be presented to public and private school, as a hands-on project for resilience building in the communities.

The Healthy Trees Healthy Cities initiative is coordinated by The Nature Conservancy.

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