We’ve created The Half-Million Gallons Project with the ambitious goal of capturing 500,000 gallons of rain water runoff each year in the Flint Creek Watershed through the use of rain gardens.
The project, located in the Northwest corner of Cook County and Southwest corner of Lake County Illinois, is now in it’s fourth year and has installed over 30 rain gardens.
It is also more than 25% of the way to its goal of collecting and cleaning 500,000 gallons of stormwater runoff annually.
Below you will find some photos of the rain gardens in action, categorized by the amount of gallons of water they collect each year.
The Half-Million Gallons Project, created under the leadership of Patsy Mortimer, starts in the Spring with a series of workshop where local residents are invited to learn about the importance of water quality and how this can be improved through the use of rain gardens.
If residents are then interested in installing their own rain garden, a site visit is conducted by either myself or another member of the Flint Creek Watershed Rain Garden Committee to verify that their location is indeed a suitable location for a rain garden.
If their location passes our site evaluation, the homeowner is given the green light to select plants from our native plant list and begin construction on their rain garden.
After the rain garden has been excavated and prepped, we perform one last site inspection to make sure that the rain garden is built correctly.
If the rain garden passes this final inspection the homeowners are then given their plants, donated by the Flint Creek Watershed Partnership (FCWP) and sorted with the help of our lead volunteer Nicole Plenge, in exchange for their hard work and the agreement to care for and photograph their rain gardens.
The program touts seven public rain gardens located at schools, a park, a township office, and a library; and 25 private gardens in homeowner yards.
The Half-Million Gallons Project took off in 2012 when the FCWP began offering free native plants for new rain gardens in the Flint Creek Watershed, and the program hopes to continue the momentum towards its goal of capturing and cleaning 500,000 gallons each year.