Rain Gardens: Designing with Winter in Mind

Rain gardens have been a central tool for how communities can improve the quality of its water in a cost-effective, aesthetically pleasing, and functional way. Rain gardens collect stormwater from our roofs, driveways, and streets and infiltrate the water back into the ground, recharging our groundwater. A variety of grasses and perennials are planted to increase the area’s aesthetic value and help treat water for many pollutants during the warmer months. But the big question is, what happens to these spaces when the weather turns cold, the plants go dormant, the ground freezes, and they are filled with snow? Do rain gardens cease functioning in winter?

In the Spring issue of MN ASLA’s _SCAPE Magazine, Katherine Gould, project landscape architect, and Kyra Oliver, water resources engineer, explore how winter design for these areas can have a big impact. 

In this article, they discussed winter maintenance impacts, winter design factors, stakeholder communication, and educating the community. Read the full article on _SCAPE’s website!

Learn more about how Bolton & Menk uses low salt design solutions for other cold climate projects. 

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