If Sacramento’s Capitol Mall transformed from a long patch of lawn into a rain garden, the new amenity would provide welcomed environmental benefits. A rain garden is a designed depression that collects rain runoff for landscaping. Mimicking a river, a recycling stream also provides terraced seating as a retreat from the urban environment, while maintaining the line of site between the Capitol building and Tower Bridge. Below, huge tanks add critical storage for the city’s combined stormwater and sewage system, reducing occasional pollution released into the Sacramento River during storms. Native plants would be drought-friendly and offer habitat for beneficial insects, such as bees.
To learn more about water in California and other ideas to address drought, read Water: More or Less, by Rita Schmidt Sudman and Stephanie Taylor. For excerpts of the book click here.