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South Inglewood Park Rain Garden Design Competition


Nashville, TN --- An innovative competition to create a rain garden for South Inglewood Park was recently announced by Metro Parks, Tennessee Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, The Cumberland River Compact and Metro Water Services. The competition is designed to educate residents, school children and park visitors on the negative impact of stormwater and how easy it is to offset that impact in their own yards.  The winning design will be built by volunteers in April 2014.

“We want people to know the impact of stormwater runoff and the way individual residents can help lessen those impacts,” said Metro Parks’ Rebecca Ratz.  Ratz explains that stormwater runoff is a normal part of any rain event. Problems arise when impervious surfaces like driveways, buildings, and streets prevent stormwater runoff from naturally soaking into the ground. “That water picks up debris, chemicals, and other pollutants before flowing into a storm sewer system or directly to a lake, stream, river, or wetland. Rain gardens, areas with shallow depressions and deep rooted plants, infiltrate water into the soil and filter out pollutants, keeping them out of the water bodies we use for swimming, fishing and providing drinking water” she explained.

This specialized type of garden not only helps remove pollutants from stormwater, it recharges ground water through infiltration, decreases scouring in local rivers and streams by slowing the flow of water after rain events, and reduces overload on stormwater pipes that run to the Cumberland River. Rain gardens are also a beautiful way to offset the negative consequences of stormwater runoff because they are filled with flowers and grasses that add color while attracting butterflies.   

Organizers say the South Inglewood Park Rain Garden Design Competition will demonstrate anybody can create a rain garden and everyone will benefit.   South Inglewood Park is nestled in the heart of East Nashville on Cahal Avenue at Porter Road. This Metro park offers a variety of amenities to local residents – ball fields, a community center, playground, walking trails and after the competition a new rain garden.

The Cumberland River Compact has been planting rain gardens throughout middle Tennessee for the last 4 years and is excited to be a partner in this project. With over 250 rain gardens constructed at schools, civic buildings and private homes, CRC has helped create beautiful and functional gardens that make Nashville’s water cleaner.

The competition opened November 1st with entries due by February 10th, 2014. The winning designs will be selected in March of 2014 and celebrated with a reception at the CRCs offices in the Bridge Building, Downtown on the Cumberland River.  In addition to the $500 prize for first place, prizes are available for student entries as well.  

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