The City of Paducah is encouraging residents to setup their own rain gardens in an effort to help reduce storm water runoff.
Paducah Storm Water Drainage Engineer Eric Hickman said the gardens can also provide environmental benefits.
Rain gardens are planted depressions in the ground that can absorb rainwater runoff in urban areas that would otherwise run off into a ditch or storm drain.
Hickman said they can help replenish groundwater, filter out pollutants and alleviate localized flooding.
“Every little bit counts and if people do put in rain gardens or there’s also rain barrels...or any type of green infrastructure it helps the community and helps filter the water.” said Hickman.
Paducah raised nearly 20 floodgates when floodwaters rose to more than 50 feet earlier this month.
This initiative is part of the city’s Stormwater Master Plan.
Four Rivers Basin Coordinator Maggie Morgan suggests putting native plants in the rain gardens that can benefit local wildlife.
She said native plants could include milkweed, cardinal flowers, sunflowers, button bushes and blue stem grass. She said native plants can be difficult to find at chain department stores and that her organization gets many native plants delivered through Ironweed Native Plant Nursery in Colombia, Kentucky. Morgan said these native plants have longer roots to absorb more water and are accustomed to the region's climate.