Build a Rain Garden

If you tend to have a lot of water that collects in your yard or roadway during a rainstorm, you may want to consider redirecting it toward a rain garden rather than letting it flow directly down a storm drain.

A rain garden is a depressed area in the landscape, planted with grasses and flowering perennials, that collects rainwater from parking areas, driveways, walkways, and roofs.  Any contaminants that are in the runoff are filtered and cleaned naturally by the soil and plants before it enters our waterways.

During rainstorms, runoff enters the rain garden and slowly filters into the ground. Allowing rainwater to slowly filter into the ground also allows more water to recharge our underground water supplies.


In addition, rain gardens…

  • are a great solution when there isn’t enough space to redirect runoff into the lawn,
  • can be installed in almost any unpaved space,
  • use native species of plants that are tolerant of wet and dry conditions, and which don’t need artificial fertilizers,
  • and can be filled with more formal plantings or designed for minimal maintenance.

View an introductory guide on how to site, design, plant, and maintain a rain garden.

Why it’s Important to Slow Runoff From Entering Storm Drains

When rainwater from the street flows directly into storm drains, it carries the pollutants that are on the road into our waterways – untreated. (Pollutants include motor oil, gasoline, fertilizer, pesticides, dog waste,  etc.) This dirty runoff can cause water pollution in our local streams and ponds.  Rain gardens are a great way to intercept and filter that polluted water!


Additional Rain Garden Resources:

For more information, contact NepRWA Environmental Scientist, Chris Hirsch at or 781-575-0354 x302.