Water-harvesting earthworks are the simple strategies and landforms that capture and ‘plant’ rain and localized run off
In sculpting your landscape and creating water capture systems, you are restoring, revitalizing, and mimicking natural systems such as forest watersheds while improving aesthetics and production. With urbanization we have sealed so much of the land with roads, buildings and parking lots creating vast run off, storm water challenges, pollution, erosion and loss of fertility. By adding rainwater harvesting technologies such as swales, rain gardens, permeable hardscapes, green streets, Keyline Design and tree planting it is possible to replace the watershed and ecosystems that have been lost.
Passive water harvesting earthworks serve as the foundation of thriving landscapes and are appropriate for use in schoolyards, parks, farms, ranches, street medians, public rights-of-ways, restoration sites, and in your yard.
Ecologia works with clients to select, place, size, construct, and plant your chosen earthworks.
Rain gardens are basically sunken garden beds, like a bowl or catcher’s mitt, it collects, infiltrates, and utilizes the rain and organic matter that falls within it, while also catching the runoff from the surrounding area. Rain gardens work best on relatively flat landscapes or gradual slopes. Place them where you want to grow vegetation (ideally Fruits!), they work great near driveways, pathways, patios, alleys, gathering areas, and buildings if they are positioned lower than these hardscapes. The excavated soil from creating a rain garden can also be used to build meandering raised pathways or patios that beneficially drain their run off into the basins.
Get creative and imagine a series of rain gardens that can be designed to spill into each other creating an oasis of fruit trees and interconnected mosaic of themed gardens. Rain garden basins can also be placed around the home or building to grow shade trees on the north, east and west sides that form a living solar arc that cool outdoor summer temperatures by 10 to 20 degrees, while maintaining full winter sun access by planting low vegetation in south facing basins. Make your landscape a rain water harvesting oasis that waters for you, protects our Bay watershed, cools your house and beautifies your surroundings.
Ecologia sites, designs and plants unique, multi-functional rain gardens for all landscapes.
French drains are great designs to harvest and move rain water where you want in the landscape. They can take on many different functions and looks. French drains in urban/suburban landscapes are usually designed along hardscapes, drives, patios, building foundations etc. to either capture and infiltrate run off water or move standing water further out in the landscape.
The basic design element of a French drain is a stone filled trench, either on contour or slightly off, that allows water to infiltrate quickly or be moved to where it can best be utilized. As with rain gardens French drains are used on flat or gently sloping land, suitable adjacent to patios, paved parking areas, buildings, driveways, walkways and down spouts. Designed with rain gardens or raised bed swales or just on their own French drains fit nicely into the existing landscape, adding a new dynamic that seamlessly combine beauty and function.
Green Streets & Green Parking Lots
We can create mini watershed along our streets and within our parking lots by harvesting rainwater runoff into planted basins. Think of a street or parking lot as a watershed and collecting water runoff at multiple points dividing the ‘watershed’ into subwatersheds. Each subwatershed or basin yields an easily managed volume of harvested rainwater that quickly infiltrates to passively irrigate plantings.
Planted with trees these rain garden basins act as living air conditioners, living carports, and living water and air filters. By harvesting storm water onsite we reduce street flooding, decrease the need for flood control and Bay pollution, we beautifies neighborhoods and creates wildlife habitat. .
– Virginia Stormwater Design Specifications
- Lancaster, Brad Rainwater Harvesting, Vol.1,2 & 3