Rain is natural, but our hard-surfaced buildings, sidewalks and streets create an unnatural amount of water runoff that can cause flooding and pollute our creeks and rivers. Engine fluids (gasoline, oils, etc.) from the streets, trash on the sidewalks, chemicals and dog waste from lawns, as well as many other pollutants get washed down storm drains and into the waterways that provide us with drinking water.
The Spencer Plaza rain gardens and water storage areas catch rainwater as naturally as possible to protect Wilmington's waterways! Plant roots soak up water and filter out pollutants, and even more water can soak into the ground. Together, the rain gardens and water storage areas can absorb and hold over 14,000 gallons of water during a rain storm - that's enough water to fill your bathtub every day for a year!
Here in Wilmington, rain water washes over the City and can carry pollution into the Brandywine, Christina, and Delaware Rivers.
Examples of native rain-loving plants that you can find in Spencer Plaza: Cardinal Flower (far left), White Hibiscus (top), Butterfly Weed (bottom left), and Blue Flag Iris (bottom right).