By SUBURBAN LIFE MEDIA - comp:00005130953a:00000005ea:2e7e /__uuid/0c349bf5-7be0-4b49-8cc6-f1567b0acb97/ColorfulRainGarden.pdf.JPG 223 1 1883 1728 1660 1727
Designing a colorful rain garden is part of the free seminar on rain gardens and barrels. (Submitted photo)

It's raining inspiration when The Conservation Foundation and the village of Lisle offer a free workshop on how rain gardens, rain barrels and native plants can help manage storm water, reduce pollution, beautify yards and create new habitat for birds and butterflies.

Jim Kleinwachter, land preservation specialist from The Conservation Foundation, will be the featured speaker. The workshop begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 27, in the Lisle Village Hall, 925 Burlington Ave., Lisle.

Organizers note that when precious rainwater is swept into storm sewers, it transports dirt and pollutants into rivers. Rain garden plants absorb rain, and slowly return it to the ground. Rain gardens are simply shallow depressions that are planted with wetland or wet prairie wildflowers and grasses. These native, water-loving plants absorb and filter water, returning much of it to the aquifers.

Planting rain gardens also beautifies yards, and helps turn low, wet areas into functioning landscapes. The colorful plantings create new habitat, attracting birds and butterflies.

Using rain barrels is another way to collect and recycle water. These 55-gallon barrels attach to a home’s downspout, capturing water from the roof. Using a rain barrel can reduce a homeowner’s water bill, and provide chlorine-free water for house and garden plants, washing the car or certain other household items, and bathing pets, all while reducing the stress on rivers and streams.

In addition to learning how rain barrels work, participants can purchase rain barrels for pickup at the village of Lisle during the spring or have them delivered directly to homes. Installation service is also available.

Use of native plants also will be discussed. Native plants can solve many suburban yard problems, look beautiful and provide habitat for birds and butterflies.

For more information, contact Storm Water Manager Mary Lou Kalsted at 630-271-4107 or