Imagine a world where each house has at least one rain garden or prairie planting to harvest rainwater in the soil and clean it and recharge the aquifer. How would that look in our town?
We would have fewer problems with drinking water as the aquifer recharges. We would have fewer problems with flooding during unexpectedly big rainstorms. Native prairie plants have deep roots. They slow the rain and help it percolate down into the soil.
Did you know you can have a rain garden in deep shade, and it doesn’t have to be next to the house as long as some land slopes in that direction. The next storm, go outside and walk around your property. Look at where the water is going. Put your prairie or rain garden there to harvest the rainwater. Your basement and your downhill neighbors will thank you.
Plant Dane, offered through Dane County, has a program to subsidize (at half price) the cost of prairie, rain gardens or butterfly plants. Your garden will attract butterflies, hummingbirds and bumblebees. That’s a win-win.
Judy Skog, Madison