Seminar Is Part of 2016 Lecture Series

Terraced rain garden, Tennessee

Terraced rain gardens capture rooftop runoff that help sustain the native perennial plants while protecting the local waterway from erosion and pollution. Photo by Knox County Stormwater, Environmental Stewardship Program. 

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – Rain gardens and stormwater management will be the topics discussed at the UT Arboretum Society’s next program in its 2016 lecture series. The seminar is scheduled for Thursday, February 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the UT Arboretum Auditorium, 901 S. Illinois Avenue.

The program
"More Sponge, Less Duck: How To Make a Water-Healthy Landscape” will be presented by Andrea Ludwig, assistant professor in the Department of Biosystems and Engineering and Soil Science at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture.

Taking advantage of the last bit of the evening’s daylight, the program will begin with a walk outside the auditorium
to look at a site slated for a rain garden. Ludwig will discuss the "stormwater footprint" of the auditorium building and how installing a rain garden will help reduce runoff downstream.  

Conventional development practices often leave landscapes thirsty for rain due to the increase in impervious surfaces and prevalence of poor soils quality. These conditions impede rainwater from soaking into the soils and nourishing plants. In her presentation, Ludwig will discuss ways to improve our community and residential landscapes with techniques like rain gardens and grassy swales that allow the rain to soak in.  

An ecological engineer, Ludwig works in the areas of stream restoration and watershed management. She conducts research into effective practices for decreasing non-point source pollution in the state’s watersheds.

“Water quality and quantity issues are relevant to everyone, whether they include ensuring clean drinking water and recreational areas, or the changing regulations in storm water,” said Ludwig.

The lecture is a free event, but the UT Arboretum Society welcomes donations to help support the organization and its programs. To learn more about the Arboretum Society, which is a non-profit organization celebrating 51 years of service dedicated to furthering the objectives and programs the UT Arboretum, go to the society’s website: For more information on the program, call 483-3571.

The program is cosponsored by the UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center, which is one of 10 outdoor laboratories located throughout the state as part of the UT AgResearch system.

Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions.



Kevin Hoyt, Director, UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center, 865-483-3571

Melanie Staten, UT Arboretum Society,