City News

Posted on: October 24, 2015

New Rain Gardens Fighting Pollution in Coon Rapids

Rain Garden

COON RAPIDS, Minn. -- Work continued this week in an attempt to fight pollution in Coon Rapids.

Rain gardens were installed at 38 homes to collect storm water to keep chemicals out of area creeks.

Every October, Carol Rasmussen fills her yard with witches, ghosts, and gravestones to celebrate the season.

“We're like kids at heart, Haha. Every Halloween, I got a skeleton there that talks and says crazy things and a witch that hangs on the wall and we have fun,” Rasmussen said.

But she said she’s trying to give more than just candy to younger generations.

“We got a brochure through the mail, describing the rain gardens and what it was going to do for the environment and (my husband) and I are trying to take care of some of this so there's something left for our kids and grandkids. So that's when we went to a meeting.”

The Rasmussens took advantage of the Coon Creek Watershed District's targeted rain garden project.

“Stormwater runoff in the streets and gutters right now goes to directly to Sand Creek, without receiving any form of treatment, removing sediment, pollutants, leaf litter,” Mitch Haustein with the Anoka Conservation District said.

“The curb cut rain garden diverts that water from the gutter line into a shallow depression into a homeowner's yard and allows that water to soak back into the ground.

Haustein said the rain gardens decrease the amount of chemicals that seep into Sand Creek and Coon Creek that could hurt fish and other animals, or even get into drinking water.

“In this particular neighborhood, there are large drainage areas, of 50 to 100 acres that get routed to Sand Creek, so it was really a prime candidate for these types of practices,” Haustein said.

With funding available, rain gardens are installed at no cost, with only an agreement for homeowners to maintain them for 10 years.

“It's a win win win. I mean, this is beautiful landscaping, the homeowners get something really nice in their yard, it's helping the water quality immensely, and it keeps us busy,” contractor Pete Lawrence with Landscape Direction said.

“The ultimate goal, is to have water that's fishable, drinkable and swimmable,” Dawn Doering with the Coon Creek Watershed District said.

“It's a joint thing, everybody's got to cooperate if we're going to make this a better world,” Rasmussen said.

Haustein said because the water doesn't stand in the rain gardens for more than two days, there's no risk of mosquito problems as a result.

(Copyright 2015 by CTN Coon Rapids. All Rights Reserved.)

Anoka Conservation District's Website
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