Sharonlee Drive, June 2017
 
Seminole Trail, September 2017
 
Dawson Boulevard, September 2017

Rain gardens are shallow, landscaped depressions that contain perennial native plants that don’t mind “getting their feet wet.” These gardens help stormwater soak into the ground and drain within 12 hours or 24 hours at most after heavy rain events. They catch and absorb stormwater before it enters storm drainage systems and local waterways, which helps prevent flooding and pollution in our communities.

In the summer of 2017, Chagrin River Watershed Partners, with the City of Mentor and Lake Soil and Water Conservation District, installed three rain gardens totaling 480 square feet in residential neighborhoods in the City of Mentor. Two of the rain gardens were installed in front yards (Seminole Trail and Sharonlee Drive) and a third was installed along the public right of way at Dawson Boulevard. Native plants with deep root systems and different bloom times were chosen to effectively soak up stormwater, provide attractive landscaping, and create habitat for bees, birds and butterflies. Plants were arranged in clusters for visual impact to make plant care and weeding more straightforward. Lake County Ohio State University Master Gardeners volunteers helped plant the gardens. Some of the plants were purchased at a local nursery. Additional plants were transplanted from Springbrook Gardens, a property purchased by the City of Mentor in 2014. Two to three inches of double-shredded hardwood mulch was used to reduce weeds, prevent erosion, and lock in moisture.  The City of Mentor produced a short video about the project https://youtu.be/KM-gk5jEWdQ .
 
This project builds upon a past residential Green Infrastructure project funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in the Newell-Ward Creek watershed. In 2012, ninety one residents received financial assistance to install rain gardens, rain barrels, and native shade trees. Chagrin River Watershed Partners and the City of Mentor subsequently identified the three sites above as opportunities to improve stormwater management in residential neighborhoods. Chagrin River Watershed Partners received a mini-grant from Western Reserve Land Conservancy-Dominion to partially fund the three rain gardens. These projects serve as demonstrations that could be replicated throughout the City.
 
You can create an attractive rain garden in your yard too! Learn more here