Kansas State International Student Center Rain Garden Claflin Road and Mid-Campus Drive • Manhattan, Kansas
Reduce downstream damage from runoff
Safely move, control, contain rainwater
Capture rain for reuse (of all kinds, human and natural, from irrigation and toilet flushing to groundwater recharge)
Restore or create habitat
The basic stormwater management concept at The ISC Rain Garden is capture, cleanse, and infiltrate. Most importantly, the garden is designed to address the two most pressing stormwater management issues in the Flint Hills Eco-region: surface water degradation and the need for groundwater recharge. The resulting system is simple: roof runoff from the ISC “Taiwan Wing” drops from three scuppers into three artistic basins sitting on reclaimed limestone splash pads; water overflows from the basins into the first cell of a two-celled rain garden. Large limestone “planks” with gaps between them comprise a checkdam and weirs system to control rainwater moving from the first cell to the second. During very large storms, runoff also flows from the back of the Taiwan Wing along a wide gravel path into the lower rain garden cell. Rooftop water from parts of two other buildings also flows into the garden on the north side, moving through a permeable pathway made of cut limestone (salvaged from a local stoneyard) and washed gravel. And at the west side of the lower cell, a level-spreader disperses any overflow onto a lawn to minimize impact on Campus Creek, roughly 70 feet to the west.
This rain garden is so simple, yet so enlightening. It is a modest, beautiful garden on a university campus that informs those who see it, as well as those who worked to create it, and others who learn of its many benefits on the “K-State Rain-Garden Design-Build Project” website.