ANA Offers Rain Garden Program

The “Neighborhood of Rain Gardens”

Rain gardens are beautiful and environmentally significant landscaping features that are gaining popularity. For the second time, Audubon Neighborhood Association is partnering with Metro Blooms and the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization to educate Audubon homeowners about the benefits and beauty of rain gardens.

Audubon homeowners and property owners are eligible to participate in a neighborhood rain-garden program to manage storm water runoff in the Mississippi River watershed. Up to 30 properties in Audubon Park will be selected to receive onsite consultations, where a rain garden design will be created specific to the property owner’s location. The neighborhood association will provide the majority of the funding for consultations and installations, so the property owner will be able to install the garden at a very reasonable cost.

Interested home and property owners can call Metro Blooms at 651-699-2426 to register for an on-site consultation with a landscape design assistant. The consultation includes assistance with identifying storm water conditions on your property, taking measurements, determining the size of your rain garden, and selecting plants.

While consultations cannot occur until the snow cover has melted, homeowners are urged to get their name on the list now. Consultations will begin being scheduled on a first come, first served basis as soon as the snow melts.

Metro Blooms will then choose up to 15 of the properties who received consultations to have a rain garden constructed on their property during the month of August.

Home or property owners will be financially responsible for the purchase of the plans, mulch, and compost. ANA’s partners in this program, Metro Blooms and the Conservation Corps of Minnesota, will excavate the gardens and add the compost and mulch. The property owners will then be responsible for the planting of the garden.

Metro Blooms will also provide to each new rain garden owner supplemental information related to the maintenance of their rain gardens.

What is a rain garden?

A rain garden is simply a garden with depressions designed to catch rain water runoff. It is filled with plants that tolerate occasional flooding. They provide beautiful landscaping and wildlife habitat. And, by soaking up rain, they slow runoff, help prevent erosion, and remove pollutants in the process.

How will sites be selected?

Any Audubon homeowner or property owner is eligible to register for an on-site consultation (cost is $50 for the first 30 registrants). Of the homeowners or other property owners receiving consultations, up to 15 will be selected for rain garden installation, based on extent of the storm-water benefit and visibility. If rain-garden construction would have a similar impact on several properties, a random drawing will determine the final selection.

What will I get if I am selected?

Selected properties will receive:

  1. A customized rain garden design.
  2. Training on maintaining their rain garden.
  3. Free rain garden installation – including excavation and soil amendment and preparation.
  4. Native plants custom-selected for their site.
  5. A free rain garden sign (at owner’s option).

What is expected of me if I’m selected?

Selected homeowners and property owners will be expected to:

  1. Work with a Metro Blooms landscape-design staff to site and design their rain garden.
  2. Participate in planting their rain garden.
  3. Commit to maintaining their rain garden in a manner that is consistent with the neighborhood and surrounding landscaping.

When will the rain gardens be built?

Landscape design assistants will work with homeowners to determine location and design for each rain garden.  Installations are scheduled for August 21-29, 2013

Learn more about rain gardens and about Metro Blooms rain garden workshops at these sites:

www.bluethumb.org

www.metroblooms.org

To participate in the Neighborhood of Rain Gardens project and register for a consultation, please contact Metro Blooms at 651-699-2426. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact ANA at 612-788-8790 or mail@audubonneighborhood.org.

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