Installed in October of 2006, the original Brainard Park Rain Garden was a 300 square foot garden planted by a group of volunteers. The Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded a Lake Erie Protection Fund grant which was used to fund the garden. The project is currently maintained by the City of Lyndhurst. The native plants for the Rain Garden were from the Ohio Prairie Nursery and the soil mix was provided by Kurtz Bros Inc. The two-acre Wildflower Meadow was seeded in January of 2007 and was a joint effort between the City of Lyndhurst and Ohio Prairie Nursery, who provided all the seeds. The Wildflower Meadow eventually enveloped the Rain Garden, so a new rain garden was replanted at a nearby location in Brainard Park in 2010 by third grade students from Sunview Elementary School in Lyndhurst.
A rain garden is a vegetated garden planted with native plants intended to allow runoff from impervious surfaces such as driveways, roads, rooftops, and parking lots to percolate into the groundwater rather than directly entering streams via storm sewers. This helps protect local streams by reducing the volume and velocity of streams during storm events and by purifying the water by allowing it to filter through the soil, thus lowering the amount of pollutants that ultimately enter the stream. Rain gardens also provide habitat for native birds and insects, and because they are planted with native plants, they require less water and maintenance once established than other non-native species. Wildflower meadows can also provide function in storm water retention, provide habitat and food resources to wildlife, and are aesthetically pleasing. The Wildflower Meadow also saves taxpayers money because it does not require mowing, watering, or weeding.
For a fact sheet with pictures, click here.