Serving Metropolitan Detroit Since 1944

Climate Change Impacts in Detroit "Rain Gardens to the Rescue"

I'm willing to bet that most people reading this article have noticed that we are experiencing more rain that comes down with greater intensity. In other words, it's raining cats and dogs, causing street flooding, basement backups, and combined sewer overflows.

These intense storms are a result of a warming climate. Greenhouse gasses (GHG) trap water moisture in the lower atmosphere, causing clouds to contain much more moisture, returning to Earth as rain or snow. As we continue to pump more GHG into our atmosphere, Michigan will continue to see more frequent and intense storms.

In addition to the flooding, excess and intense rainfall can change the planting season when it's too wet to plant or, conversely, it can be too dry. Unfortunately, these changing climate patterns can also result in hotter and dryer days that impact the growing season and create discomfort.

But it's not all gloom and doom; there are things we can do. Most importantly, on a large scale, we must reduce the amount of Greenhouse Gases we put into the atmosphere. We can do this by making homes more energy efficient and reducing energy consumption. We can invest in clean vehicles like hybrids and electric. Employing clean renewable energy sources by installing solar panels, wind turbines, or using geothermal heat are examples that are especially important for businesses, public entities, industry, or large organizations, but they are things we all should consider and support to reduce GHG emissions.

Another solution is to increase the GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE (GI) in our communities. This includes 1. Planting trees, 2. Disconnecting your downspouts, 3. Installing a green roof, 4. Reducing the amount of food you put into your trash and/or composting food waste, or 5. Plant a RAIN GARDEN!

If you are interested in a rain garden, we have a free start-up program for faith-based organizations, businesses, municipal buildings (e.g. libraries, schools, city hall, or other government offices) located in River Rouge, Detroit zip code 48217, and the south end of Dearborn.

Selected applicants will receive a rain garden, at no cost, through the Rain Gardens to the Rescue program of the Friends of the Rouge and the Michigan Chapter of the Sierra Club. We have experience installing over 100 rain gardens throughout Detroit and southeast Michigan. Deadline to apply is February 29th , so apply now. Six (6) gardens will be awarded.

For more information, visit:

To apply, click here:


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