February 19, 2009
Welcome to the Rain Garden Blog! This will become a regular feature here at World Goin’ Green. In this space we are going to share information on using rain gardens and landscaping to manage stormwater. Our initial focus will be on residential yards, but over time, we may expand into design approaches for municipal and commercial properties as well.
My name is David Dods. I am the host of the rain garden video featured on this site. I live in the Kansas City area, work as an environmental engineer for URS Corporation designing “green” stormwater management systems, and I love to spend time outdoors. I also had the good fortune to help co-author the book, “The Blue Thumb Guide to Raingardens,” with Rusty Schmidt and Dan Shaw. Rusty and Dan are landscape ecologists living in Minnesota and Wisconsin, respectively. I will be dragging them into this space periodically to take advantage of their wealth of knowledge too.
My intent with this blog is to cover rain gardens, native landscaping, and stormwater management topics that are timely to the current season of the year. Dan, Rusty, and I live in the Midwest, but we will try to cover issues in a manner that can be applied throughout the country.
Over the next three months we will write a series of articles to help get you ready to plant a rain garden in your yard for this spring planting season. After that, we will head in new directions based on the questions received at this website.
What is a Rain Garden?
A rain garden is a garden constructed with a low spot in it designed to catch rainwater in your yard, growing plants that don’t mind getting partially flooded on occasion. They are typically shaped like flat-bottomed bowls 4 to 12 inches deep. By soaking up rain where it falls, rain gardens slow stormwater runoff, help prevent erosion, and remove pollutants while creating attractive landscaping and wildlife habitat. Stormwater runoff is something that we often view as a problem. We collect it in drains and pipes to get it out of our way as fast as possible. Unfortunately, doing so can cause erosion and flooding farther downhill. Instead of viewing rainwater as a nuisance, use it to create attractive landscaping for your yard. Have you ever wondered how to fix the erosion gully where rainwater drains away from one of your downspouts? Or what to plant in that soggy spot where the grass won’t grow because water puddles there after it rains? Try planting a rain garden.
In the next blog, we will start the design process by talking about how to select rain garden locations in your yard.
Have fun playing in the rain!
For those looking for more information, the Blue Thumb Guide to Raingardens is available at terracehorticulturalbooks.com.
November 6, 2008
American firm BNIM wins international green award for Greensburg, Kansas
LONDON (June 16, 2008)—The Greensburg Sustainable Comprehensive Plan, created by BNIM
Architects and the City of Greensburg, Kansas has been awarded the 2008 Sustainable Cities Award.
The Plan was developed to provide a sustainable framework for rebuilding the town that was leveled by an EF-5 tornado one year ago. Some of the key recommendations include planning for a 100% renewable supply of electricity, decreasing the town’s carbon footprint, rebuilding City projects to LEED Platinum standards, increasing the town economic vitality, and maintaining the vibrant cultural heritage of Greensburg’s people. It is the town’s vision to become a model for sustainability in America. [Read more]
November 5, 2008
BNIM Announces Groundbreaking of LEED Platinum Registered Greensburg School Facility
New Educational and Public Use Facility Designed by BNIM to Embody Sustainability
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (October 29, 2008)—BNIM today announced the groundbreaking for an energy efficient and highly sustainable K-12 school facility in Greensburg, Kan. Designed by BNIM, the project is targeted for a LEED Platinum rating, the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest level of certification. Governor Sebelius, BNIM’s Casey Cassias and other representatives attended a groundbreaking ceremony on Main Street today in Greensburg. [Read more]
November 5, 2008
BNIM Awarded National Research Grant from U.S. Green Building Council
BNIM to Lead Study on Best Management Practices (BMPs) for On-site Stormwater Management
Kansas City (September 22, 2008)—With finite supply and increasing global demand for fresh water, the management and reuse of stormwater has become one of the most critical environmental concerns in the building design industry. Last week, the U.S. Green Building Council announced the recipients of its 2008 Green Building Research Fund Grants, the first grants of its kind in the green building industry. BNIM’s research proposal, which focuses on managing stormwater around building sites, was among the handful of research proposals selected to share the $2 million grant fund. [Read more]
October 15, 2008
Did you know that green (sustainable) design tops the charts as the number one trend right now in home design? And that it’s a major factor in driving color trends? Do you know why? I believe it’s not only because going green is healthier, more efficient, and better quality, but also because the second time around, we are finding ways to make it beautiful. Let’s face it, ugly doesn’t sell. [Read more]
August 20, 2008
Born, raised, and continuing to live in the South Bronx, Majora believes you shouldn’t have to move out of your neighborhood to live in a better one, and that this notion has environmental and economic implications that span the globe.
In 2001, after the defeat of a noxious, Giuliani-era municipal waste handling scheme, she founded the non-profit environmental justice solutions corporation, Sustainable South Bronx (SSBx). Her first major project was writing a $1.25M Federal Transportation planning grant for the South Bronx Greenway with 11 miles of alternative transport, local economic development, low-impact storm-water management, and recreational space. This led to the first new South Bronx water front park in over 60 years. [Read more]
August 20, 2008
President and Founder Intellectual Capital, Consulting, Education
L. Hunter Lovins is President and founder of the Natural Capitalism Solutions. NCS educates senior decision-makers in business, government and civil society to restore and enhance the natural and human capital while increasing prosperity and quality of life. In partnership with leading thinkers and implementers, NCS creates innovative, practical tools and strategies to enable companies, communities and countries to become more sustainable.
Trained as a sociologist and lawyer (JD), Hunter co-founded the California Conservation Project (Tree People), and Rocky Mountain Institute, which she led for 20 years. Lovins has consulted for scores of industries and governments worldwide. She has consulted with large and small companies including the International Finance Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell, Interface, Clif Bar and Wal-Mart. [Read more]
August 13, 2008
City mayors from around the nation are goin’ green!
The U-S conference of mayors was held in Miami, Florida in June. Conference officials took several steps to ensure that the meeting was green. For example, the conference took place at the Intercontinental Hotel, which practices energy and water conservation methods. Conference officials also used recycling bins, biodiesel buses and locally grown flowers to make the meeting even greener. [Read more]
August 8, 2008
July 24, 2008
Welcome to Living Green with Karen Mills, a eco-conscious show about eco-friendly living. After designing and staging sets for television productions, Karen Mills turned her designer’s eye to private homes in the Kansas City area. She brings a unique combination of talents into her client’s interiors, seamlessly integrating classic looks with modern concepts. [Read more]