Work is well underway on the bioretention basin and rain garden demonstration areas in Boulevard Park.
, Aldermen John Pellerito explained the purpose for the demo area. "It is hoped that these demonstration areas will encourage our new and existing developers to build similar biodention areas to control the amount of runoff on their developments," Pellerito said. "It is also hoped that private homeowners will be encouraged to build rain garden areas to fix their problem areas. These are both advantageous to the city in controlling our costs and homeowners who can fix their problems in an inexpensive manner."
The city of Lake Saint Louis issued a press release with more information about rain gardens:
- Rain gardens are shallow depressions designed to catch and absorb runoff from roofs, driveways and other impervious surfaces.
- They are usually planted with wildflowers and other plants native to Missouri. A rain garden can look like a formal flowerbed or natural and random collection of wild flowers.
- On their own, native plants attract butterflies, dragonflies, and birds. Natives installed in a rain garden work together with amended soil to capture runoff.
- Native Plants have very deep root systems that keep the soil from eroding, help water to soak into the ground as well as allow the plants to be hardy and drought tolerant.
- Decreasing stormwater runoff from impervious areas can improve our streams and lakes by decreasing erosion.
- Stormwater runoff often carries pollutants such as oil and heavy metals. Capturing the runoff in rain gardens keeps these pollutants out of our waterways.
The city also addressed concerns about rain gardens and mosquitoes, and gave some basic information about creating a rain garden:
- Mosquitoes need at least a week of standing water to complete their life cycle; rain gardens are designed to hold water for only a few days. The native plants in your rain gardens will attract bats and dragonflies that eat mosquitoes.
- The size of your rain garden should be 10% to 30% of the square footage of your roof or other impervious areas draining to it.
- Plant rain gardens at least 10 feet from building foundations.
- Plant a rain garden near roof drains to catch water.
- Amending soil with sand and compost greatly improves function.
Don't forget to call 1-800-DIG-RITE before you dig. The Missouri One Call program will mark the approximate location of utility lines or let you know if there are no lines in that area.