For the past year and a half I have been working with the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA) – Sustainable Landscape Committee to develop a guide for their membership on small-scale rain gardens.
During this time I have received much encouragement, feedback, support, and input from the committee members which has resulted in the production of a resource that is truly set apart from any other rain garden guide currently available.
Our guide has been created by contractors for contractors.
This 60-page document, that condenses 1,000’s of hours of hands-on experience by contractors, is a departure from the ubiquitous, colorful, 1-2 page pamphlets on rain gardens that give us the warm-and-fuzzies about being sustainable but don’t actually prepare contractors to realistically implement rain gardens into their services.
Our guide to small-scale rain gardens introduces new approaches, techniques, and tools that prepare landscape contractors to incorporate rain gardens as a practical, low-cost, sustainable stormwater and drainage solution that will not only make their clients feel good, but are also cost-competitive with traditional stormwater solutions such as french drains and grading.
We want landscapers to be green while making green.
In addition to publishing this guide, the ILCA Sustainability Committee is currently working with municipalities to create thresholds under which these small-scale rain gardens can be implemented without permitting. These thresholds are meant to balance high implementation of rain gardens with low exposure of liability for municipalities.
This guide serves as the educational component for the landscaping community that will prepare landscape contractors to successfully use rain in their landscape designs as we work to assist municipalities in their efforts to capture rain water at the source.
Our guide is free to ILCA members and public officials/public bodies by emailing a request to firstname.lastname@example.org. A preview of the document and a digital copy is available for purchase to non-members on the ILCA website at: https://www.ilca.net/sustainable_landscaping.aspx