Raintree Meadowland Stormwater Runoff Garden Plots (“Sponge” Gardens) – A Showy Success

The photos below show results of the work done from July through October 2011. Several Raintree homeowners and board members, along with oustide volunteers, prepared and planted six plots to help absorb and redirect stormwater runoff in the common area between the soundwall and our houses.

Native trees (Silky Dogwood), shrubs (Chokeberrys), perennials (including Scarlet Bee Balm, Blazing Star, Butterfly Weed, Gray Goldenrod) and grasses (mostly Little Bluestem) have established deep roots and provided flowering habitats for butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. As the plants go through their growth cycle, seeds will attract other birds and berries will attract birds and wildlife.

As the photos show, most of the plants are two to three feet tall (some almost six feet tall). The plots have been very effective in “sponging” up excess stormwater runoff. Maureen Goodfellow has been keeping most of the weeds out of the plots but it is an ongoing project. Before winter sets in, sometime this fall, volunteers are needed to weed and mulch all the plots. Volunteers are also needed to weed and remove briars from the Chokeberrys and Red Eastern Cedar trees planted parallel to the soundwall by the auxiliary parking lot.

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