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Rain garden at IMA

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This just in about the IMA's new rain garden...

Beautiful art can take many forms. There are many beautiful art objects that are even outdoors. And now with our nice weather, you are encouraged to visit the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) greenhouse parking lot, and view one of their newest art exhibits- a rain garden. It looks great and like most art, should only improve with age. What is a rain garden? It's a depressional area planted with wildflowers and other plants that collects some of the water after a rain and allows the water to soak back into the ground instead of all running off. Rain gardens can help decrease stormwater runoff volumes from urban, suburban, and town developed sites. This conservation practices is being demonstrated to help cities and towns find alternative ways to help decrease peak volume stormwater runoff after a larger rain, and at the same time add to the natural beauty of the landscape. Individually these practices may have a small effect, but collectively many such practices can make a major reduction in the volume of runoff water to local streams. They also can attract wildlife such as birds and butterflies. In addition, they can include many natural plants that have a unique beauty of their own, while they also send deep roots to help water soak into the ground even better.

The new rain garden at the IMA is just part of many new conservation practices being currently planned for at the museum that will demonstrate Low Impact Development (LID) practices. An interpretative sign is being completed that will also be installed at the site to provide more background details about rain gardens. These new conservation practices, or art objects, are being installed at the IMA to share ideas, better educate the public, and to showcase some new landscape ideas for landowners to consider. The rain garden installation was made possible with assistance from the Marion County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Hoosier Heartland Resource Conservation & Development Council, and it's Plant-A-Million Program. Grant funds from the Lilly Endowment helped cover most of the cost of the rain garden installation. For more information about rain gardens visit the Marion County Soil and Water Conservation District website at www.marionswcd.org .

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