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Rain gardens installed at North Knoxville library are a natural way to absorb rainwater

A student club called the Hydrolunteersm is heading up the project.
Credit: WBIR

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — UT students are working to limit stormwater runoff by building rain gardens in the Edgewood Park neighborhood in North Knoxville. 

The goal is to stop rainwater from flowing down streets by creating areas for it to absorb into the ground. 

A student club called the Hydrolunteersm is heading up the project. Andrea Ludwig, a UT Associate Professor, is their faculty advisor and said the gardens counteract the pavement that causes stormwater to build up. 

"It catches rainwater runoff from the rooftop and instead of diverting it to the stream it absorbs into the ground kind of like a natural sponge. the way the landscape used to be before we came in with our rooftop and pavement," said Ludwig.

Today's garden at the North Knoxville Library, behind Edgewood Park, is an example of what they will be able to install at homes in the neighborhood.

It has downspouts that funnel the water into the garden, which is built into a slight depression in the ground. It will be filled with native plants that should be blooming this spring, and even has overflow areas for those days of heavy rainfall.

The group is working with the Edgewood Park Neighborhood Association to identify 10 to 12 homeowners who'd like to install their own rain garden. The work is being funded by a grant.