At a Glance
A church rain garden provides a beautiful and unique landscape feature, local water quality improvement, and opportunities for stewardship and service among the church and broader community.
The Grace Lutheran Church in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, is located within the service area of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD), where water quality and stormwater control are critical issues. Intent on applying for NEORSD funding to improve stormwater management and enhance the sustainability of its property, the church turned to Biohabitats for help. Biohabitats began by touring the site and identifying opportunities to apply green infrastructure practices on the property. Factoring in the church’s site, monetary constraints, and NEORSD funding, Biohabitats determined that the most appropriate and applicable stormwater best management practice (BMP) the church could implement was a rain garden.
With Biohabitats help, the church applied for and received grant funding from NEORSD to design and construct the rain garden. Biohabitats’ design diverted three downspouts, which were draining approximately 2,600 sf of roof area, into a new, 700 sf rain garden with native herbaceous plants, trees, and shrubs. The design also included a “dry” river bed and interpretive signage. Biohabitats supervised construction of the rain garden and led a volunteer planting by church members.
The Grace Lutheran Church rain garden not only enhances local water quality by allowing water to be naturally filtered, but reduces the amount of stormwater generated on church property.