December 1, 2007
Rain gardens have the potential to lower the impact of stormwater coming from impervious surfaces in urban areas and to mitigate non-point source polluted runoff. Rain gardens are easy to install, inexpensive, sustainable, and are aesthetically pleasing. The site and soil conditions of a rain garden installed in Spring 2006 on the campus of Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Leon County, are described. The soil at the rain garden site is composed of three types: Orangeburg, Plummer, and Urban land. Data for soil leaching and runoff potential for pesticides indicate that all three soils have a medium soil leaching potential to leach to groundwater, with the Plummer and Urban land soil types having a high runoff potential. Soil fertility testing of the rain garden site for phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and calcium indicates that the soil is high in phosphorus, medium-high in potassium, and very high in magnesium.