Neighborhood Spotlight: Ronna Smitherman

Ronna attended a VLAWMO raingarden workshop and immediately forged ahead with putting in a raingarden on her property in Vadnais Heights. Her property sloped from her home down to the street so capturing the runoff from her roof and driveway would keep a lot of water from going down the stormdrain.

Kristine worked with Ronna on her project to ensure it was properly designed and placed to capture the most water possible. After the installation, Ronna has worked hard to keep her raingarden maintained. It is truly a show-stopper. After her first raingarden was completed in 2009, she extended her native planting area, connecting the back and side of her property to the front raingarden. This allows for even more capture of stormwater runoff. Her gardens have replaced about 1400 square feet of lawn (or as we call it, green concrete). 


Some of the plants you will find in her garden include flowers such as coneflower, coreopsis, and wild blue indigo as well as grasses such as prairie dropseed. Her garden has blooms from the start of spring all the way through until the frost of fall. Her garden is an oasis for many dragonflies, butterflies, bees and other pollinators. 


Installation: 2009-2010

Project Size: approx. 1,400 square feet

Impervious Drainage (rooftop, sidewalks, driveway) area leading to the raingarden: 1,900 square feet

Pervious Drainage (existing lawn) area leading to the raingarden: 2,200 square feet

Estimated water captured in a 1.25" rain event: 1,794 gallons

Estimated bathtubs of water captured in a 1.25" rain event: 45


Head over to our grants webpage to learn how you can get started on your very own raingarden or similar stormwater improvement project! 


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