Once nutrient-rich water gets into Lake Chautauqua it is almost impossible to filter the nutrients back out. So the concept behind rain gardens and no-mow zones is to preemptively and naturally filter the water of its nutrients before it reaches the lake.
Water flow-rate slows at it enters the garden, allowing for larger particles and sediment to settle out, and for other suspended solids to be filtered out as the water is absorbed into the soil.
Excess nutrients dissolved in runoff water are taken up and stored by the plants, which prevents them from contaminating the lake
Rain Garden Fun Fact:
Despite what their name might imply, rain gardens are actually dry most of the time (except after rainfall events, when they absorb water). They look just like normal gardens!
Native plants that tolerate a range of wet and dry conditions are used in these gardens since they are at times flooded with water and at other times
Click here to see a list of native plants commonly used in the Chautauqua rain gardens.