Take a Stormwater Walk at The Brenton Arboretum Learn about beautiful plants that reduce stormwater runoff and enhance water quality on a new, free walk at The Brenton Arboretum near Dallas Center.
The Stormwater Walk, created with financial assistance from the Iowa Native Plant Society and the Dallas County Foundation, increases awareness of stormwater issues and highlights the role of plants in managing runoff and erosion.
At least 35 kinds of trees, shrubs, perennials, grasses and sedges, mostly those with fibrous root systems, are scattered throughout the arboretum. Use a map inside the Stormwater Walk brochure to find blue markers shaped as water droplets. Each marker displays plant names plus a QR code offering more detailed information such as growth height, width, and plant zones. The Stormwater Walk brochure is located at the kiosk near the arboretum’s entry gate.
Stormwater runoff occurs when water from rain or snowmelt flows over the land instead of soaking into the ground. As runoff flows over land and hard surfaces (such as paved streets, parking lots, and building rooftops), water accumulates chemicals, debris, and other pollutants that then pour into streams and rivers. High stormwater levels may cause downstream flooding, erosion of banks, destruction of homes and habitat, and water contamination.
Rain or snowmelt water that soaks into the ground becomes available for plant use, recharges aquifers, and generates a healthy flow to rivers and streams. Planting water tolerant plants with fibrous root systems along waterway paths helps increase percolation of the water into the soil.
This post was originally published July 1, 2015.