A rain garden is a landscaped, shallow depression that allows for rain and runoff to be collected and then either infiltrates into the soil or evapotranspirates to the atmosphere. Rain gardens reduce the quantity of water that reaches our waterways and improve the quality of water by filtering polluted runoff. During rainstorms, much of the water quickly washes into the streets from yards, sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots. This water carries many pollutants including pesticides, fertilizers, animal waste, and chemicals. Excessive runoff can lead to flooding and can erode stream banks, adding sediment to waterways.


Rain gardens are designed to collect runoff from roofs, lawn, driveways, or sidewalks, or any combination of those. The size and depth of the garden will be determined by the volume of runoff that will reach the garden and the soil texture of the site. Rain garden plants should be native hardy perennial species that can survive in both wet and dry conditions. Some rain garden maintenance will be required, including weeding, pruning, and removing sediment that accumulates.