Build a Rain Garden

Rain gardens are an attractive green solution to reduce storm water pollution and improve overall water quality. Storm water becomes polluted when it runs over pavement and comes into contact with automotive fluids, sediment, trash, pet waste, etc. Ordinarily, this storm water “runoff” flows directly to rivers, lakes and streams without treatment. By directing storm water runoff to a rain garden filled with native plants, pollutants can be absorbed by the deep plant roots instead of contaminating our rivers, lakes and streams.

What is a rain garden?
rain garden is a shallow, constructed depression that is planted with deep-rooted native plants & grasses. It is located in your landscape to receive runoff from hard surfaces such as a roof, a sidewalk and a driveway. Rain gardens slow down the rush of water from these hard surfaces, holds the water for a short period of time and allows it to naturally infiltrate into the ground.

A rain garden can be thought of as a personal water quality system because it filters the runoff from your roof and lawn and recharges the groundwater.

A rain garden also conserves municipal water resources by reducing the need for irrigation.

Rain gardens are a beautiful and colorful way for homeowners, businesses and municipalities to help ease stormwater problems. There is a growing trend by municipalities and homeowners to incorporate natural processes to help relieve flooding and pollution.

Rain gardens provide several benefits:

  • Vegetation and soils within the rain garden use physical and biological processes to remove contaminants carried by stormwater runoff.
  • Infiltrating stormwater into native, underlying soils helps mimic natural drainage processes and reduces the volume of stormwater runoff.
  • Stormwater runoff reduction improves the physical and biological integrity of receiving streams by reducing stream bank erosion and negative effects on aquatic communities.
  • Rain gardens improve the aesthetics of an area compared to conventional infrastructure.

For more information, visit Environmental Protection Agency's Rain Garden Page.