ST. LOUIS – With the recent heavy rains, many are wondering how to protect their homes from flooding. One option for homeowners and businesses is not only functional but beautiful.
A prime example of it is when you first arrive at the Missouri Botanical Garden, a beautiful green space that used to be two rows of parking.
“This is a constructed landscape feature. It is designed to capture rainwater from the upside of the parking lot that sheets down here and runs into this big feature instead of running off into sewers,” said Jean Ponzi, the Green Resources Manager with the Missouri Botanical Garden.
This is known as rainscaping.
“Rainscaping is a set of strategies that are designed to capture and hold rain where it falls instead of conveying it away,” said Ponzi.
The amount of excess turf grass and hard surfaces like concrete and asphalt makes it difficult for rainwater to soak into the ground. It forces the water into storm drains or streams and increases the flooding impact of heavy rain events.
“The more we can put the power of plants to work around buildings, and where our vehicles move, the better it is. Because they are designed…that’s what they do,” said Ponzi. “They capture water and filter it down into the soil.”
Ponzi said with the combination of native plants, catch basins, and other activities that manage stormwater, you can landscape your yard or property for both beauty and function.
“Look at your property. Look at how water follows. Establish a balance. Have a balance of plants and hardscaping and buildings,” said Ponzi. “And there’s wonderful expertise around our community that can help you do that.”
Missouri Botanical Garden Rainscaping Guide: www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/sustainability/rainscaping-guide
MSD Project Clear Rainscaping Grants Opportunities: