Rain garden

What is a rain garden and why should you have one?

A rain garden is a garden that is planted in a depression in the ground that collects runoff from impervious surfaces such as roofs, driveways, and sidewalks.

Rain gardens are designed to absorb and filter stormwater runoff, reducing polluted runoff from reaching local waterways. They can also help reduce flooding and erosion, cooler urban temperatures, and provide habitat for local wildlife.

Garden and plants covered with dirty water due to water floods after massive storm rain.
Water floods in a garden

What are the benefits of a rain garden?

There are many benefits to having a rain garden, including reducing flooding and erosion, cooling urban temperatures, and providing habitat for local wildlife. By absorbing stormwater runoff, rain gardens can also help reduce polluted runoff from reaching local waterways.

Flooding and erosion occur when there is too much water for the ground to absorb. This can happen during heavy rains or when snow melts quickly. When this happens, the water runs off of impervious surfaces such as roofs, driveways, and sidewalks into low-lying areas. This can cause flooded basements, eroded topsoil, and even sinkholes. Rain gardens can help reduce flooding and erosion by absorbing this excess water and allowing it to filter back into the ground slowly.

Urban areas are often several degrees warmer than rural areas due to the heat generated by buildings and pavement. This is known as the urban heat island effect. The heat released by these impervious surfaces raises air temperature and contributes to smog formation. Rain gardens can help reduce urban temperatures by providing a place for heat-absorbing water to evaporate into the air.

Rain gardens also provide habitat for local wildlife such as birds, butterflies, and small mammals. By planting native plants that require little upkeep, you can create a beautiful space that will attract local wildlife without spending a lot of time or money on maintenance.