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Rain harvesting has experienced a bit of a renaissance in recent years through the promotion and installation of rain gardens and rain barrels. These water collection mechanisms help to curb erosion and the spread of pollution; conserve precious freshwater; and support water-loving plants. This Topic in Depth presents websites and electronic publications containing instructive and descriptive information about rain gardens and barrels. The first (1) site comes from Rain Gardens of West Michigan, "an environmental education program on stormwater education, and on the values of using rain gardens and native plants in the landscape to improve urban and suburban water quality." This site offers downloadable instructions for creating rain gardens, and making rain barrels. The second (2) site, from the City of Maplewood, Minn., promotes the use of rain gardens and features a 15-page, downloadable Maplewood Rainwater Gardens Planting and Care Guide, and a list of recommended plants. Although the site is designed for Minnesota residents, some of the information will be useful in other areas as well. For a look at rainwater conservation in an arid region, the third (3) site contains an archived publication titled _Harvesting Rainwater for Landscape Use_ by Patricia H. Waterfall, an Extension Agent at the University of Arizona Cooperative. From the University of Wisconsin-Extension, the fourth (4) site contains two instructive, downloadable rain garden publications. The first publication serves as an introduction to rain gardens and the second is a detailed, 32-page manual providing "homeowners and landscape professionals with the information needed to design and build rain gardens on residential lots." The fifth (5) site, from the Center for Watershed Protection, contains a brief, illustrated brochure on How to Build and Install a Rain Barrel. From the Thomas Jefferson Soil & Water Conservation District in Virginia, the sixth (6) site contains a 32-page, downloadable publication titled _Collecting and Utilizing Rainfall Runoff: A Homeowner's Manual of Ideas for Harvesting Rainwater_. The final (7) site, from the Low Impact Development Sustainable School Projects, offers information to educators about installing rain gardens and rain barrels with their students.
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