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E-M:/ WMEAC's New Rain Garden Fact Sheet

Enviro-Mich message from "thornapple river" <thornapple@hotmail.com>

July 6, 2006

For Immediate Release

New Rain Garden Fact Sheet is Designed to Help Professionals
West Michigan Environmental Action Council


West Michigan Environmental Action Council has published a new rain garden fact sheet, designed to increase the use of rain gardens. The beautiful, 11 by 17 inch, full-color publication describes the four steps necessary to create a successful project; Creating a Functional Design, Constructing a Successful Rain Garden, Maintaining a Beautiful Rain Garden, and Getting the Free Bioretention Tools.

The publication provides common sense guidance, and access to the latest technical information about designing and constructing a rain garden (bioretention basin). The fact sheet is intended for use by municipalities, builders, landscapers, stormwater managers, and other professionals. Patricia Pennell, director of West Michigan Environmental Action Council?s popular rain garden program, designed it to answer the common questions of industry professionals.

?We wanted to provide the information that busy professionals need in order to incorporate low impact development techniques, such as rain gardens, into their skill set,? said Patricia. ?There is good information about rain garden design and construction on the internet, but they do not have time to search for it. They are not using rain gardens yet because they do not have the right technical information on hand. This fact sheet is designed to provide a quick review of the design and construction process, and fast access to the most current information, techniques, tools, engineering manuals, and research.?

Rain gardens are designed to help alleviate the devastating effects of storm water runoff on our environment. Designed with a dip at the center to collect rain and snow melt, rain gardens are landscaped with deep soils and low-maintenance, native plants that hold and filter storm water. West Michigan Environmental Action Council has a lifelong history of protecting water quality in the Great Lakes.

?When you design a garden as a ?rain garden,? you improve local water quality while creating a natural attraction for birds and butterflies,? said Thomas Leonard, West Michigan Environmental Action Council executive director. ?Rain gardens can help make our cities more attractive while protecting ecological health. Current storm water systems treat rain and snow melt as waste products to be disposed of. Rain gardens do the opposite. By keeping storm water close to where it falls, rain gardens help reduce flooding and filter out pollutants.?

American Rivers (Washington D.C.) provided funding for the fact sheet. The new publication is available from the WMEAC offices at 1007 Lake Drive SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506. It can also be downloaded from the raingardens.org website ( http://www.raingardens.org ) .


West Michigan Environmental Action Council is a grassroots environmental advocacy organization that celebrated its 37th anniversary on Earth Day, April 22, 2006. WMEAC was instrumental in the passage of the Michigan Environmental Protection Act and the Inland Lakes and Streams Act, and the founding of the Michigan Environmental Council, a Lansing-based advocacy group for statewide issues.

Thomas Leonard, WMEAC executive director, 616-451-3051.

Patricia Pennell, Rain Gardens Program Director, 616-454-RAIN (or 616-451-3051 ext. 29)

Gary Belan, American Rivers, Conservation Associate, Washington D.C., 202-347-7550.

http://www.raingardens.org http://www.wmeac.org

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