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This site provides support for the Office of the Lt Governor. For updated info on the Governor, use Governor.illinois.gov.

Sustainable Infrastructure Initiative

 

In an effort to reduce stormwater flooding, and protect water quality, property owners across Illinois are adopting sustainable infrastructure techniques.

Using permeable pavement, and landscape buffers, as well as raingardens and rain barrels, to slow down the runoff, these techniques allow it to percolate into the ground. This acts as a natural filtering process and reduces harmful water quality impacts from rainfall that carries chemicals and pollutants with it into storm sewers and retention ponds and eventually, into nearby streams and lakes. 

 Our Rain Garden Initiative was developed to help property owners demonstrate how low-cost techniques can be successfully used to improve water quality while preventing flooding and drainage problems.

Rain gardens are landscaped areas planted with wild flowers and other native vegetation  replace areas of lawn.

Since the programs inception in 2005, the Lt. Governor’s Office working with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service has awarded grants to 60 groups across the state, including elementary schools, and community organizations.

These community groups have designed raingardens to solve a wide variety of problems, including erosion, poor drainage, habitat restoration and rehabilitation, water quality, and stormwater runoff. These grants have allowed teachers and students to gain hands-on experience in landscaping, the importance of native plants and the ways the environment changes and adapts to its surroundings. Rain gardens are also a way that the schools and universities can share with the community.

For more information and examples of Illinois rain gardens see our Case Studies.

 

"Runoff from nearby parking lots and sidewalks will be collected in the raingarden reducing the contaminants like road salts, lawn chemicals, and oil residues from reaching storm sewers." 
 

 

 

 

 

 

Creating a raingarden in a shallow depression in your yard beautified with native flowers and grasses can also be thought of as your own personal water quality system. Raingardens also make good use of rainwater runoff, native perennial flowers and grasses, and create a habitat for wildlife such as native birds and butterflies.

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Our Rain Barrel Initiative is a  companion program to asist homeowners in conserving water and controlling stormwater runoff on their property.