April Showers

Okay, admittedly, this month’s entry is at first very cliché. April has been known as a rainy month…well, for as long as we can remember.

Rain is a funny thing. We (and every other living thing on Earth) need water to exist, but gosh – doesn’t it make for a dreary day? Most of us do enjoy listening to the rain as we lie in our beds, or sat with a book [and caffeinated cup of something] as droplets splash upon our windowpanes. And it is absolutely thrilling to see thunderclouds gather as a long-awaited storm builds – particularly after a period of drought. Even the smell is something we’ve come to appreciate.

Then, it rains. And rains.

Water pours off rooftops, out of our eaves, down paved driveways, and towards overwhelmed storm drains. Our manicured lawns become quickly saturated, and there the water sits. It’s easy to see why flooding has been so common in recent years. Fortunately, clever folks have looked into ways to slow the flow and capture the excess: rain gardens, rain barrels, permeable pavers, and soil quality restoration (among other things). As with all things clever people do, the rest of us wonder why we didn’t think of it ourselves.

Beautiful rain garden at Polk County headquarters in River Place, Des Moines.

At least those clever people are happy to advise and assist! On the afternoon of May 18, 2014,  the Easter Lake Watershed Project team and Polk County Conservation staff will be hosting a big event at Easter Lake Park to do just that. From 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. activities for children and information booths for their grown ups will be set up. Visitors can learn about upcoming lake and watershed renovations at our vendor booths or on a complimentary pontoon boat ride, take part in family activities, and sample free food. 

Each of us can make an effort to infiltrate stormwater, stop pollutants, and improve water quality in Easter Lake and other area waterways. Whether you're looking to set a new standard in your neighborhood or simply keep up with the Jones' - come along to see where to begin. 

Rainscaping Iowa is a brilliant resource if you're looking to implement a few of these ideas independently. For a few other resources, please visit our website

Oh, here’s a few other outdoor Rainy Day ideas for the fun-loving young (and old) in your family: puddle jumping, rain painting, catching raindrops on your tongue, monitoring the rain gauge (in order to collect data for ever-important precipitation-based discussions with friends and colleagues), mud painting, and backyard camping (still outdoors, but dry inside your lovely tent!).

And, finally for your viewing pleasure, a relevant Disney classic:


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