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Stormwater Walk
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Blog ImageTake a Stormwater Walk at The Brenton Arboretum Learn about beautiful plants that reduce stormwater runoff and enhance water quality on a new, free walk at The Brenton Arboretum near Dallas Center.

The Stormwater Walk, created with financial assistance from the Iowa Native Plant Society and the Dallas County Foundation, increases awareness of stormwater issues and highlights the role of plants in managing runoff and erosion.

At least 35 kinds of trees, shrubs, perennials, grasses and sedges, mostly those with fibrous root systems, are scattered throughout the arboretum. Use a map inside the Stormwater Walk brochure to find blue markers shaped as water droplets. Each marker displays plant names plus a QR code offering more detailed information such as growth height, width, and plant zones. The Stormwater Walk brochure is located at the kiosk near the arboretum’s entry gate.

Stormwater runoff occurs when water from rain or snowmelt flows over the land instead of soaking into the ground. As runoff flows over land and hard surfaces (such as paved streets, parking lots, and building rooftops), water accumulates chemicals, debris, and other pollutants that then pour into streams and rivers. High stormwater levels may cause downstream flooding, erosion of banks, destruction of homes and habitat, and water contamination.

Rain or snowmelt water that soaks into the ground becomes available for plant use, recharges aquifers, and generates a healthy flow to rivers and streams. Planting water tolerant plants with fibrous root systems along waterway paths helps increase percolation of the water into the soil.

The Brenton Arboretum, located between Adel and Dallas Center, was established by the Sue and J.C. Brenton family to preserve an important natural area and to educate the public about trees and plants.

Discover five miles of walking trails, the O’Brien Nature Play Area, prairies, streams, a small lake with a dock, and a green-roofed outdoor Pavilion. Members may rent the indoor Vista Room and outdoor Pavilion.

The arboretum is open free every day from 9 a.m. until sunset, including holidays. It is located three miles north of Highway 6 and 1½ miles west of R Avenue (R16). For more information, visit

Blog History

9/13/2018 - Andy Schmitz, Director of Horticulture, Published in Prestigious Journal
3/24/2016 - Dallas County Foundation funds new Gator for Brenton Arboretum
2/15/2016 - The Best Tree You've Never Heard Of
7/1/2015 - Stormwater Walk
5/22/2015 - Historic Homes & Gardens of the Scottich Highlands Tour
12/15/2014 - Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed in Five Southern Iowa Counties
10/24/2014 - 2014 Urban Tree Conference
8/25/2014 - Emerald Ash Borer
7/17/2014 - Vanishing Acts: Trees Under Threat Exhibit
5/7/2014 - INTOXICATING!
3/4/2014 - Plant Conservation at the Brenton Arboretum
2/18/2014 - Drought 2012 by Becky Strom
2/4/2014 - Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed in Bremer and Wapello Counties
1/28/2014 - Drake University Contest
1/13/2014 - The Des Moines Register ‘s Editorial: Iowa needs to focus on ash tree disaster
1/13/2014 - Des Moines Register, Iowa View: 32,000 football fields of trees gone
1/4/2014 - Happy Holidays from the Brenton Arboretum!
1/3/2014 - Osage Orange
10/23/2013 - The Chiara Quartet
1/1/2010 - Kids Nature Club
1/1/2010 - Register for a FREE program!