Rain Gardens / Swales
Nobody wants to drive in flooded streets after a rainstorm. Besides being an inconvenience to motorists (and unlucky pedestrians), flooded streets bring pollutants and excess water into our already over-encumbered combined sewer system and often, these pollutants that wash off our streets end up in our waterways. Much like greenroofs, our rain gardens hold on to this excess water and prevent it from entering the sewer system – instead using the rainwater to supply the native plants however unlike greenroofs, rain gardens are much more compact and more easily integrated into our streets.
Rain Gardens (also known as Swales) are incredibly functional as a result of their high load bearing constraints. The concern of excess loading that would be a significant limit to greenroof substrate depth is not an issue when it comes to rain gardens. The greater depth of soil and plant size possible with rain gardens means that they “punch well above their weight” when it comes to mitigating stormwater.
The ability to utilize larger plants and trees when constructing rain gardens increases air quality and provides welcome shade during hot summer days.
In addition to mitigating stormwater, the native plants found in our rain gardens help maintain a habitat for valuable urban fauna such as bees and various birds as well as millions of microorganisms necessary to create a functioning ecosystem.
Due to the ease of integrating rain gardens into already existing streets and tree pits, the ecosystem contribution of every city block could be maximized.
The aesthetic value of rain gardens cannot be underestimated either. Communities prefer greener streets to the monotony of uninterrupted concrete and brick which in-turn results in higher property values for neighborhoods that incorporate rain gardens into their design. The added property value to otherwise greenery-bare neighborhoods means that rain gardens could pay for themselves. Some studies show that adding greenery to neighborhoods that lack it even reduces crime rates by providing opportunities for communities to maintain the plants and lifting the overall mood of residents and passerby.
We are strong believers in creating a sustainable urban environment – not just for the ecosystem but for its inhabitants and rain gardens are an indispensable part of this equation. Speak to our team and lets get started on improving the environmental and aesthetic value of your neighborhood through the use of rain gardens.