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Delighted homeowner reveals how they convinced their city to 'pay' them to update their backyard: 'Such a worthwhile project'

"10/10 would do it again."

Rain garden

Photo Credit: u/slithereedee/ Reddit

A green-thumbed Redditor turned their backyard into a biodiverse paradise, transforming their traditional grass yard into a "rain garden" — and they got paid to do it.

In a popular Reddit post, the user shows off before-and-after photos of their yard's metamorphosis into a rain garden. Because this transformation is so beneficial to the environment, the Redditor received a government rebate to offset their costs. 

"I absolutely advocate for rain gardens to everyone who'll listen," the Redditor writes. "They are beautiful, they help protect our most valuable resource, and they bring biodiversity to the area."

Rain gardens are depressed areas in a landscape that collect rainwater, allowing it to absorb into the ground. 

This prevents runoff, a phenomenon when rainwater drains off roofs and streets, collecting pollutants like fertilizer, dirt, or bacteria, and ends up in storm drains and ditches. This untreated water eventually travels to streams, rivers, and the ocean. 

When water drains into a rain garden, its soil, grass, and plants can filter out these pollutants.

This Redditor created five miniature rain gardens, each connected by a dry creek bed around the perimeter of their property. This keeps runoff from affecting neighboring yards. 

After two months of planning, a lot of digging by hand, and adding compost and organic matter into the soil, this Redditor created a unique and environmentally-friendly backyard. 

They planted flood-resistant plants, like black-eyed Susan, Gregg's mistflower, and turkey tangle frogfruit. 

"Such a worthwhile project," they write. "10/10 would do it again."

Rain gardens have a variety of benefits for the environment beyond purifying runoff water. They can prevent flooding, promote plant growth, restore groundwater sources, and make a great home and food source for butterflies, birds, and other types of wildlife.  

Many local governments offer rebates for rain gardens because they are so beneficial to the environment. This Reddit user received a rebate from their city officials that paid for a portion of their compost and mulch expenses. 

The Redditor is supporting their local ecosystem, and they also undoubtedly have the coolest backyard in their neighborhood. 

Reddit users were impressed by the before and after photos of this Redditor's rain garden adventure in the post's comment section. 

"Not only looks so much more inviting than before, but a huge increase in plant diversity and decrease in environmental impact," one Redditor writes. "You did an awesome job."

Another user says, "So whimsical and wonderful! Great job!"

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