ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Have you heard of green roofs? Also called rain gardens, these additions to your home or garden can not only help spruce up your landscape, but serve as an environmentally-friendly way to prevent storm water flooding.

On days where the rain is too much for your gutters or roofs to handle, rain gardens can help redistribute the water into a place where it’s beneficial to the environment as opposed to just flooding it. Laurie Broccolo explained how installing rain gardens or green roofs can not only help mitigate flooding but help spruce up your lawn for both homeowners and businesses.

“So, if you have wet area at all on the lawn, and the mowing is really a bit difficult — why do we have grass there, when we can put in a variety of plants and create another habitat?” she said.

The drain from the roof gutter is essentially connected by a pipe to the end of the rain garden where it can drain the water into a small depression made in the ground that you can fill with rocks and other water-loving plants, something that Broccolo Garden customer Harriet Heller thought was a great way to reuse the water. 

“I think it’s great because we have a lot of clay soil so the water doesn’t absorb very well and this prevents a lot of the water just sitting on the grass you know and making it muddy,” Heller said. “So we decided that a rain garden would be one way to be able to save some of that water and water our plants as well.”

“The rain gardens really started with more larger building mandates on stormwater management, so you see green roofs put in. The green roof is to absorb the water and heavy rain when it’s coming down and slow it down from getting into the infrastructure because we have pavement and parking lots and roofs and we’re displacing so much water and that’s causing flooding, ” Broccolo said.

With more places across the country seeing water displacement issues because of flooding, Laurie hopes more people like Helen will see how beneficial and beautiful the rain gardens can be.