How can you get started? Let’s talk for a second about rain gardens! Rain gardens are used to improve the quality of the water that enters them and reduce the amount of storm water run-off that enters storm water drains. These gardens are usually divided into three sections of plants consisting of plants that can tolerate varying amounts of water. See here for a complete guide to building your rain garden!
If you would like to save your storm water fro later use around your landscape, a rain barrel might be the way to go. Hundreds of gallons of water can be captured for later use in rain barrels and are particularly helpful in areas with wet and dry seasons. See this guide for building your own rain barrel.
Installing berms and vegetated swales is a third option for storm water. Swales are basically just ditches, and berms are really just small hills. If you already have a sloped yard, you’re half way there! Placing plants that can tolerate both dry and wet conditions is best. Check in with your local Environmental Services department for a list of native plants appropriate for your area. Have a great time using your storm water, and happy swaling!