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Rainscaping Education Helps Communities Prevent Polluted Runoff

During a downpour, rainwater hits pavement and flows into drains, picking up pollutants like oil, fertilizers, and road salts along the way.

These pollutants can flow into nearby water bodies, where they can harm wildlife, make swimming and boating unsafe, or even contaminate drinking water.

Urban runoff is a particular concern in Indiana, where urban areas are expanding offsite link and the risk of winter flooding offsite link is expected to increase over the coming decades. On a search for solutions, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and Purdue Extension are teaching residents the art and science of rainscaping. By learning how to design and build their own rain gardens, communities can help reduce flooding while protecting water quality in their neighborhoods and surrounding waterways.

Through the Purdue Rainscaping Education Program offsite link, a multidisciplinary “rainscaping team offsite link” has published a curriculum, led several state-wide workshops through 2019, and contributed to a rain garden app offsite link, all designed to teach communities and residents around Indiana how to use sustainable landscaping.

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Image via NOAA

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