Lake Mohawk Community Rain Garden

What is a Rain Garden?

An important way to keep our lakes clean is by preventing nutrients and sediments from running off your lawn, roof or driveway into the lake.You can do this by collecting rainwater in barrels,  allowing rain water to collect in a rain garden, and by slowing down fast moving water in a stone trench. Sediment will build up where ever water drains directly into the lake.Stone trenches are used throughout the reservation  to move water. They can be seen along West ShoreTrail, Woodbine Terrace and between Fairway Trail and the Golf Club property. These trenches help remove sediment as water flows through them before draining into the lake. To be most effective, they are cleaned out periodically of collected sediment.

Rain gardens capture water from an impervious surface and allow water to out filter slowly into the ground. They can minimize flooding and erosion on small Lake Mohawk properties. Rain gardens are better than lawns at helping the ground absorb water and can decrease  pollutants entering our lakes by as much as 30 percent. Even a small rain garden in the right location can make a big difference.

A rain garden will resemble a typical garden, although it is planted slightly below grade. A variety of grasses, wildflowers, and woody plants-specifically native plants- are used as they have adapted to our New Jersey climate. Native plants require minimal maintenance once they are established. In 2016,  on Memorial Day, we dedicated our Boardwalk Demonstration Rain Garden to Russell A. Beierle. This demonstration garden is located toward the end of the boardwalk near the spillway. Take a look and consider how a rain garden will fit in your landscape. 

BENEFITS OF INSTALLING NATIVE PLANTS IN A RAIN GARDEN

✓ Most native plants produce long root systems which loosen the soil creating a sponge zone where pollutants and contaminants are safely captured, filtered and prevented from entering waterways.

✓ Their deep root systems lessen impacts of floods and droughts.

✓ Native trees, shrubs, flowers and grasses provide biodiversity andpreserve species in our developed communities.

✓ They are of high habitat value providing food, shelter and nesting areas forwildlife, especially birds, butterflies and beneficial insects.

✓ These plants are naturally resilient to harmful insects and disease thuseliminating the need for pesticide application.

✓ Since they are best adapted to local conditions, chemical fertilizers are notneeded.✓ Water conservation is another benefit since once they are established inthe right place there is no need for supplemental watering.

✓ Indigenous plants absorb water more efficiently than turf grasses, surviveing both dry and wet conditions and thrive without a lot of care.