We take it from the ground, collect it from the sky, and extract it from food. We literally drink, eat and breathe water, yet water quality becomes lost in an amalgam of many personal and other environmental health concerns.
The Brenton Arboretum shares similar watershed concerns with its community. Stream banks erode more with each storm, and this stormwater carries away more rich soil each time.
A two-inch rainfall event creates 88 million gallons of water, which converges into the narrow stream channels at the arboretum before joining the Raccoon River. This stormwater runoff carries sediment from streambanks into Lake Homestead, and further, causing sedimentation (a type of pollution) of these water bodies.
Sediment churned by rushing stormwater can remain suspended in the water, concealing sunlight from aquatic life, insulating the pond to lethal temperatures, and creating anaerobic and other conditions.
Over the next few years, the arboretum will work with Solutions in the Land to control erosion, siltation, and water pollutants as much as possible. We hope you will visit to evaluate this process at the arboretum, and learn how you can manage stormwater in your city or your own back yard.
The Stormwater Walk is available for you to learn about plants that can help stabilize streambanks, absorb excess stormwater, and filter pollutants from runoff. Simply pick up a Stormwater Walk guide at the arboretum or print one here. Use this guide to find listed plants at the arboretum. Each tree, shrub and plant community is marked with a QR code. Your smartphone can read these codes and pull up our website to link you directly to a wealth of information about each plant.
No smartphone? The information is on our website. Simply type the name of a tree or shrub you are interested in learning about into our search box at the top-right corner of the screen. Find information about prairie perennials and grasses here.