Rain Gardens

What is a Rain Garden?

Rain gardens are beautiful natural landscape features that require less maintenance and fewer chemicals than lawns. Rain gardens are a depressed area that captures stormwater runoff from impervious areas such as roofs and driveways and allow it to seep slowly into the ground. This reduces the amount of stormwater flowing over the surface of the ground which often causes flooding, erosion and water pollution in streams. Native and adapted plants are recommended for rain gardens such as wildflowers, sedges, shrubs, rushes and small trees.

Two rain garden photos below courtesy of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection show how attractive a rain garden can be.


By infiltrating stormwater, rain gardens can:
  • Keep oil and grease from paved areas from entering waterways
  • Filter pesticides and fertilizers from lawns
  • Protect rivers and streams from erosion
  • Recharge local groundwater resources
  • Provide habitat for beneficial insects and birds and other wildlife
  • An enhancement of the beauty of your yard, thereby improving the landscape in your neighborhood
  • The bringing together of your family and neighbors for a fun, physical activity
  • Plant material that can provide shade and a light or noise screen.

This is the sign for the rain garden in Millerton, N.Y. sponsored by HVA. It describes what a rain garden is and how it works. The diagram shows how it's designed.