At home project: Building a rain garden
With social distancing the new norm, you may have more time for at-home projects. Why not do something to help protect Bloomington water? Create a simple rain garden to give water more space to soak into the ground and reduce impacts of storm water runoff. You can build a small rain garden with standard household tools and the following steps.
Step one: Choose a location. A downspout of sump pump outlet is a good water source.
Step two: Test your soil. Dig a test hole and fill it with water. If the water does not soak in quickly, choose a new location.
Step three: Design and build your basin.
- Choose a simple shape and dig 3 – 6 inches deep.
- Make the bottom flat so water can spread out and seep into the ground.
- Stop erosion by slowing the water: add fist-sized rocks or pavers where the water enters the rain garden.
Step four: Plant and maintain. Use Minnesota native plants that like damp soil—flowering plants will attract butterflies and other pollinators. Top plantings and any bare soil with a layer of mulch.
Find out more information about how to build a rain garden at blm.mn/raingarden.