MUD and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) have partnered on many projects over the last few years and we are excited to share about our latest project – a demonstration rain garden at the MUD tool library! 

NWF’s Big Sky Watershed Corps member, Kassie Robakiewicz, was inspired to install a demonstration rain garden when an opportunity presented itself by the Montana Association of Conservation Districts (MACD) grants to fund watershed restoration projects. Choosing the location at MUD was naturally the next step in partnership with MUD’s  efforts to empower people to build a more sustainable community through tool sharing and hands-on learning. A rain garden is a great addition to the MUD site and is a part of a suite of several other earth-friendly projects you can replicate at your home. 

Similar to some of the other gardens at MUD, such as the pollinator garden and the orchard trees, the rain garden is a flourishing bed of native plants that pollinators have already been seen visiting. The key difference is that the rain garden is built in a depression to help filter out sediment and other pollutants from stormwater runoff when it rains.  The filtration occurs by having layers of sand and gravel below the compost and soil acting as natural filtering and absorbing systems for the sediment including animal waste, brake dust, oils, gas, and other pollutions typically collected by the rain and leading into our waterways. Pollution control isn’t the only benefit of this garden, it also helps with flood protection, habitat creation, and water conservation. 

Whether you are looking to improve the effects of stormwater runoff in your home or community, or are interested in building a habitat garden in your yard, we would love for you to contact us for more information. You can email Kassie Robakiewicz at MtEducation@nwf.org, or call (406) 542-6708. Follow us on Instagram @gardenforwildlifemissoula or Facebook at Missoula Community Wildlife Habitat.


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