Raingardens for Water Quality and Pollinator Habitat
Interview with a Landscaping for Clean Water Raingardener
Tom Herberg saw a notice this spring in the Apple Valley newspaper about Landscaping for Clean Water
classes that piqued his interest. He already had a small native garden in his front yard, with plants suited to the climactic and soil conditions of the area which provide habitat and nectar for bees and butterflies. Wanting to expand that project, he signed up for the classes to learn how to install a raingarden. Raingardens
not only provided pollinator benefits, but can also take the water from his roof and water those plants while recharging groundwater aquifers and reducing pollution entering the storm sewer.
Fast forward three months and Tom has finished installing his raingarden!
After attending the Landscaping for Clean Water introduction and design classes (where he learned about the benefits, design, and construction of raingardens), Tom was provided with the knowledge and tools (and some at home assistance from the Dakota County SWCD staff) to begin installation of his raingarden. “The classes were very interesting, informative, and inspiring,” Tom said, adding that the process of planning the garden with his wife was especially rewarding.
Tom received a $250 grant to install the raingarden as well as technical assistance from the Dakota County SWCD. Their staff visited his property before, during, and after the project to walk through the installation process and answer any questions regarding construction of the raingarden.
“A rain garden project may look and sound overwhelming, but the folks at Dakota County SWCD made it relatively easy,” Tom said.
The garden looks great and Tom is looking forward to seeing the plants mature in the coming years!
For more information on the Landscaping for Clean Water
program and available grants
to install your own raingarden, native garden, or native shoreline planting, contact the Dakota County SWCD at (651) 480-7777.