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Showers bring need for rain gardens

Just the right fit

In many communities, on both commercial and residential properties, you may be seeing more rain gardens. The goal of rain gardens is to intercept water from impervious surfaces. They can be beautiful, are easily installed and can filter the Rain gardens are just one way for homeowners to install conservation practices in their yard. Gardens help filter water that runs off your excess water and reduce run-off. roof or downspout. But before you start building, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. The basic purpose of a rain garden, at least in urban areas, is to slow down and absorb excess water to reduce flooding, yard damage and runoff and filter pollutants. “Rain gardens are one way that residential dwellers can do something for conservation in their own backyard,” said Lisa Hein, INHF senior director for conservation programs. “A rain garden helps to provide a sponge for the water coming off your roof, from the downspout, driveways and patios before entering the storm sewer and river.” When planting your rain garden, native grasses and flowers work best, as they grow deep roots that absorb water and can pull moisture from the soil when it’s dry. You can also include species that bloom year round, but be sure that they tolerate periodic wet conditions. By planting rain gardens, communities and landowners are helping to improve Iowa’s water quality. Storm water runoff can carry pollutants, sediment and litter directly into rivers, lakes and creeks, even if there’s not a body of water nearby. By absorbing potential runoff your yard produces, rain gardens help limit the high and low flows of rivers that can erode soil or cause banks to flood.

Robert Eller enjoyed several interactions with INHF’s work over the years — mostly having to do with the waters, woodlands and bluffs of northeast Iowa. Among those were the projects expanding Effigy Mounds National Monument, INHF’s ongoing land protection efforts along the Upper Iowa River and INHF’s decades-long focus on safeguarding the Mississippi River Blufflands. Last year, we received word of Mr. Eller’s passing and his having named INHF a beneficiary of his estate. He’d specified that he wanted his bequest to go toward “land acquisition purposes for a worthy heritage project.” What more natural place to direct his gift than toward Heritage Valley (pictured) on the Upper Iowa River? Here, through his legacy, he joins others in protecting a magnificently wild place that will connect people to nature through INHF for years to come. His legacy of beauty and wildness will enrich lives. — CHERI GRAU ER , donor relations director

Rain gardens aren’t just beautiful landscaping projects — they can be successful tools for conservation that brighten up your property. If you want to find out more about how to create your own rain garden, see the Iowa Rain Garden Design and Installation Manual at

TRIBUTE GI F TS IN MEMORY OF Our four Allamakee County Parents Janice Barr Jack Bauch Clarence Bitterman Phil Bloch Patricia Breemeersch Richard Brown David Buchanan Aric & Ryan Campbell Harold “Bud” Carpenter Kathryn “Kate” Caughron LTC (Ret) David C. Cottington


Iowa Natural Heritage

Norma Covey Charlie Cutler Becky Dolecheck Robert William Dyas Norma Field Roger Fisher Cynthia Levy Benjamin F. Graham, Jr. Douglas Hamilton Barbara Ann Harms Keith Alan Jones Lester N. Knudson Donald Mathews Ronald D. McGrew

SUM M E R 2 0 1 7

Lawrence Mills Lucy Moore Butcher Neil Joseph Murphy Elaine Nelson Roland & Virgnia Nelson Kent Newell Robert D. Olson Robert V. Olson James P. Piper Dale E. Reedy Emma Roskam Kent Sheeley John F. Shephard III Jon Steege

Mary Sytsma Murry & Lizzie Sytsma Mary Thobe Nancy Thompson Marjorie Veenma VanZee Robert Warland Phyllis Willis Marlene Zarr

IN HONOR OF Mark Ackelson John Biege Bob Boedensteiner Danny Brown

Bruce Ecker Larry & Rose Hilgendorf Joe and Linda Jerome Laurie Klosterboer Gary & Carol Lehman Jan Lovell Bret McFarlin & Teva and Flynn Dawson Pat Schlarbaum James and Janet Sutherland Barb Thompson Lynne Wallace Ron & Shirley Webb

Summer 2017  
Summer 2017