Tarkio Rain Garden

by / 0 Comments / 272 View / September 14, 2012


This place is so much fun, you might just overlook the rain garden, smack dab in front of you. Or rather you see it, you just might not realize it’s anything other than an eye-catching flower bed.

Look closely as you follow the stone path leading through the cosmos. You’ll find a drain with grate at the center, evidence of it’s dual purpose, do-goodness. It’s a really wonderful design, in-part because, without closer inspection, its easy to miss that it was, in fact, designed. It’s simply meant to be.

This is probably true of most rain gardens, gardens that are planted or spring up naturally where there is a regular or seasonal source of water.  I typically think of them located in low lying areas, depressions, at the base of slopes, hillsides or other areas to catch and filter stormwater. This can aide filtration to the water table or simply reduce run-off and potential pollution that would otherwise end up in storm drains and ultimately the watershed. This particular rain garden is at the center of a turn-around servicing the Tarkio River Lodge on the Clark River in Montana. It looks a bit like an oasis but it’s actually doing the important job of converting what would otherwise be a mud puddle or worse in spring and fall – note the surrounding dirt and gravel road – into something beautiful and industrious.

Many towns, cities and counties across the country are now offering rebates to homeowners for the installation of rain gardens because of the measured benefits on a parcel by parcel basis.

Proof, yet again, that our gardens really do make a difference.

Shoot or pass the pistil.

Rain Garden How-to Manual

Seattle Public Utilities Rain Wise Program

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