Fernbank’s Rain Garden

July 15, 2011 at 2:43 pm Leave a comment

If you have visited Fernbank any time within the last year, you will have noticed a garden that borders the parking lot and the front entrance. Filled with flowers and plants, this garden provides a nice boundary between the road and the Museum. It serves a greater purpose than aesthetics, though.

This special group of plants is actually a rain garden. According to Eli Dickerson, the environmental education programs manager here at the museum, a rain garden is very simply “a ditch with a job.” Using gravity, rock placement and some little tricks, a rain garden captures water from rain to better nourish plants and to help avoid erosion.

A sign in front of Fernbank’s rain garden explains that it is a “dry stream with plants that capture rainwater runoff from nonporous (impervious) surfaces such as pavement, roads and rooftops, allowing the water to be slowly absorbed into the ground.”

Fernbank’s rain garden has been in place since September 2010 after the Museum was chosen by the World Wildlife Foundation and The Coca-Cola Company as the site for a rain garden project in the Southeast. Fernbank’s garden was the first in Atlanta and houses many interesting plants. Eli, helping to organize the rain garden plans, chose diverse, native, drought-tolerant plants to absorb the water. The garden has different levels of plants, the lowest of which houses endangered, carnivorous pitch plants in a swampy, boggy environment.

Carnivorous Pitcher plants occupy the lowest, swampy level of the rain garden.

Check out the rain garden on your next visit to the Museum and learn a little more about Fernbank’s efforts to conserve and better utilize water.

-Amanda Boddy, Marketing and Communications Intern

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About

At Fernbank Museum, there’s much more than dinosaurs and giant-screen films. Even with our website, e-newsletters, Facebook pages and Twitter updates, there’s still a lot we’d like to share with you. This blog is an opportunity for the people that keep Fernbank running and constantly expanding, to share stories from their point of view. We hope you’ll enjoy these first-hand, behind-the-scenes glimpses of what goes into keeping a world-class natural history museum running. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback on these stories, to hear your personal experiences and hear any suggestions for topics. Happy reading!

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