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Arlington Home to New Rain Garden

Volunteers plant new public garden to retain and filter rain water headed to Spy Pond.

Editor's note: The following information comes from a town of Arlington release.

Arlington’s is now home to a new rain public garden, after volunteers on Sunday gathered to plant on the area near the park’s .

The new rain garden serves the purpose of holding rain where it falls while also intercepting rainwater flowing downhill before it reaches the pond. As rainwater from storms flows over roads and manicured lawns, chemicals are picked up along the way and flow into streams, rivers, ponds and lakes.

Rain gardens are designed to be hard working yet beautiful holders of some of that storm water. When polluted water is held by a rain garden, the plants take up some of that water and the soil filters the rest. With pollutants removed, the filtered water naturally recharges back into the groundwater system that feeds streams, rivers, ponds and lakes.

This first rain garden is a demonstration project conceived of by the town’s EcoFest Committee members from , Planning, the Garden Club and Sustainable Arlington. The hope is that more rain gardens will emerge in public and private spaces, all working together as a network of gardens filtering pollutants and protecting the town’s watershed.

The community is invited to walk through the garden and see the kinds of flowers, grasses and shrubs that grow well in wet conditions. These plants also have the benefit of being low-maintenance and drought tolerant, making them good plant choices for gardeners with little time or experience. By spring, the plants will be labeled so that residents can learn about them and find them for purchase at local plant nurseries for use in their own yards.

If you are interested in helping with future rain garden projects or would like to help with maintenance of this garden, please leave your name and contact information with Sustainable Arlington at cmilan@SustainableArlington.org or call Joey Glushko in the Planning Department at 781-315-3093.

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